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Central Middlesex Hospital’s longest serving nurse was once crowned ‘fastest woman in Africa’

PUBLISHED: 14:20 30 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:20 30 May 2018

Matron Rose Amankwaah with her medals from her previous career.

Matron Rose Amankwaah with her medals from her previous career.

Archant

Central Middlesex Hospital’s longest serving nurse was once crowned the “fastest woman in Africa” and won a medal at the 1974 Commonwealth Games, the Times can reveal.

A clipping declaring Matron Amankwaah Africa's fastest athlete.A clipping declaring Matron Amankwaah Africa's fastest athlete.

Rose Amankwaah, 65, has been working at the hospital since 1975, but before coming to England she had a very different life.

During secondary school in the west African country, she was noticed for her athletic abilities, resulting in her being scouted by Ghana Athletics Association to compete nationally.

Rose even won a gold medal for the 200m sprint at the 1973 Latin American Games, where she represented Africa.

And she was also part of the Ghanaian relay team that won bronze in the 4x100 metre relay at the 1974 Commonwealth Games.

Matron Rose Amankwaah with her medals from her previous career.Matron Rose Amankwaah with her medals from her previous career.

Her athletic success doesn’t stop there though; she won a silver medal in the 100m and gold in the relay at the second All Africa Games.

Following her athletic success she made the move into nursing and was employed by Central Middlesex Hospital in 1975 and became staff nurse in 1977. She is now its longest serving nurse and says she has been there so long she “feels like part of the furniture”.

“It’s not the easiest job in the world but I love it,” said Rose, who is now the theatre matron for ACAD and CMH main theatres.

Her job has provided her with a number of exciting opportunities, such as meeting Prince Charles during one of his visits to the hospital. Outside work, she also trained with a young Linford Christie.

And her passion for sport hasn’t left her. She has a semi-professional footballer for a son, who has played in a Wembley final.

“You don’t want to see me at a football match,” she said. “My son is a semi-professional player and I shout myself hoarse every time I see him play.”

As well as being grandmother to nine, she makes sure she keeps active. She attends community yoga classes each morning before work.

She can’t wait for the World Cup to start and loves sporting events, letting her reminisce to her days as a youth athlete.

“It only seems like yesterday that I was out on the track and I’m running every step when I see Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill on TV,” she said.

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