Kate Burt, Chief Executive Officer of British Rowing, the sport’s national governing body, and Jo Atkinson, Regional Development Officer, visited the Club on Wednesday 23 October during a tour of West Midlands’ Clubs.
“It was great for our Explore Rowing members to have a chance to talk to British Rowing’s CEO,” said Glyn Hawkins, the Club’s Masters’ Vice Captain. “Nationally the aim is help more people to row, including on the river during the week and indoors, just what we are doing here in Stratford”.
“Building capacity to meet the huge interest in rowing is a national issue as well as being the reason behind our redevelopment plans,” said Felix Badcock, the Club’s President. “In the under 16s, the greatest increase has been with girls. In the West Midlands more Juniors and Seniors take part in competitions than the national average. We know that the demand is there, if only we had the space.”
The group also discussed the perception of rowing as a sport for the wealthy but as the parent of one Junior Member said “At less than £5 a week for three training sessions, it is really affordable and offers lots of other benefits as well as becoming seriously fit!”
In terms of access, indoor rowing opens up the sport for people with limited time. Kate described how mobile technology was being used to take this “beyond the gym” so that athletes could compete against rowers across the globe.
After Kate had seen the designs for the new boathouse they discussed how the Club was approaching the task of raising £500k. With considerable fundraising experience and local knowledge between them, Kate and Jo’s support will be invaluable to the project’s success. If you would like to know more about the appeal please email us.