Students Staff

27 May 2014

Essex alumna wins British Sports Book Award and bids for Times Sports Book of the Year

Dr James Allen-Robertson

Harriet Tuckey with her award

Harriet Tuckey has won the British Sports Book Award for Outstanding General Sports Writing for her book Everest: The First Ascent.

Completely re-assessing the expedition, the book which is subtitled ‘The untold story of the man who made it possible’, highlights the work of her father, pioneering physiologist Griffith Pugh.

The winners of each award category are now on the shortlist for the Times Sports Book of the Year which is decided by public vote and Harriet is urging readers and those interested in Pugh’s story to vote for her online.

Harriet, who completed a BA Literature and MA Sociology of Literature at Essex, explains in the book how Pugh’s scientific approach helped the 1953 succeed after 11 previous attempts had failed.

Pugh’s incredible attention to detail covered everything from redesigning the expedition’s Primus stoves so they would melt ice for water more quickly and developing a comprehensive acclimatisation regime to reassessing the advice on oxygen use.

Harriet said: “No book about mountaineering has won an award before in the history of the competition. A biography of an unknown physiologist by an unknown writer is hardly what you expect to see in this context which makes it all the more surprising and thrilling to have won an award.”

Harriet will be at the 50th anniversary ‘Homecoming’ weekend in September to talk about Everest at an event with Professor Chris Cooper from our Centre for Sports and Exercise Science.

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