A serving Captain in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, Heather along with her rowing partner Helen Glover, won the first Gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics in women's rowing.
A Captain in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, she has been given time to pursue an Olympic sporting career with the British Rowing Team. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Paired with Helen Glover, the duo won a Gold medal, the first for their country of the 2012 Games and the first ever British Olympic Gold medal in women's rowing.
Heather was educated at Gordonstoun in Scotland where she was appointed Head Girl in her final year. Her school yearbook predicted that she would be the first one to win an Olympic Gold medal!
Having won a British Army scholarship in her last couple of years at school, Heather went on to study Sports Technology at the University of Bath. It is at university where Heather started rowing, and in 2006 joined the Team GB Start Programme. A year later she gained her first GB vest in a Pair with Olivia Whitlam, and they went on to win the U23 World Championships in 2007.
She graduated from University in 2007 before going on to RMA Sandhurst commissioning in 2008.
Heather was given athlete status in the Army in 2010 in order to train for Olympic competition full time and was paired with Helen Glover in the Women's Coxless Pairs.
In 2011 Glover and Stanning won the Coxless Pair event at the GB Rowing Team Senior Trials at Eton-Dorney. They went on to win both the Munich and Lucerne World Rowing Cup regattas, beating the reigning World Champions Haigh and Scown of New Zealand. Glover and Stanning finished second to that same Pair in the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia, by 0.08 secs. Their coach Robin Williams described it as a Gold Medal performance without getting the Gold medal.
In 2012 Glover and Stanning completed a clean sweep of all three events in the Women's Coxless Pair of the World Rowing Cup regattas; Gold at Belgrade, Lucerne and Munich. On 1 August 2012 they raced their first ever Olympic Final and won Gold in the Women's Coxless Pairs. This was TeamGB's first Gold medal of London 2012, and a first ever Olympic Gold medal for British women's rowing.
By the end of September 2012 Heather reported back to Larkhill garrison and resumed her British Army career with the Royal Artillery. She deployed to Afghanistan during the summer of 2013 to work as the Operations Officer for the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Battery in Camp Bastion.
Heather was appointed an MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to rowing.