SOUTHAMPTON Olympic rower Caragh McMurtry has won a national award at the PLx awards hosted by UK Sport for innovation around neuroinclusion.

McMurty was incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2014, which led to five years of taking the wrong medication.

However in 2019, after she went to the UK sports institute mental health panel, she was re-diagnosed with the correct medication and subsequent support.

This helped her make the Team GB Olympic squad for the 2020 games in Tokyo and also ensured her mental health improved.

Following her retirement, she set up her own charity Neurodiverse Sport in 2022 based on her personal experiences.

After discovering she had won an award, she said: "It’s absolutely huge to have a platform at this awards ceremony.

"One of the biggest things that probably needs to shift to make sport more neuroinclusive is attitudes.

"It’s not a trend, neurodivergence has existed forever and people have just been suffering in silence.

"That’s probably why it’s so important that we’re working with the UK Sports Institute’s mental health team," McMurty continued. 

"Although the two are not mutually exclusive, the way things are set up at the moment in society and sport means that neurodivergent people are more prone to mental health issues, but we can change that.

"We all have the power to change that, and it starts with cultural change and just making it acceptable to be different.”

The former Olympian has worked with the UK sports institute mental health team to provide workshops to high-performance athletes and better their understanding of the subject.