The event takes place on Saturday June 17th and is organised by Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club.
The regatta has been taking place in Stratford since 1879. As well as Stratford’s own crews, the event draws competitors, able-bodied and adaptive, and their supporters from clubs such as Bewdley Rowing Club, Cardiff & Vale Schools Rowing Association, Evesham Rowing Club, Nottingham & Union Rowing Club, Royal Grammar School Worcester, Stowe Sculling Club, Warwick Boat Club, Becket School Rowing Club, Cotswold Rowing Club, Holloway Scullers, Leicester Rowing Club, Merton College, Monkton Combe School, Monmouth Comprehensive School and Northwich Rowing Club.
Racing is on the town stretch of the river from Holy Trinity Church to the Club grounds by The Tramway Bridge. As well as the rowing contingent, the regatta attracts a lot of interest from visitors to the town who come down to the Bancroft Gardens and the Recreation Ground to enjoy the racing, barbecue and the beer and tea tent in the Club grounds, which are open to all.
Racing starts around 8.30am and finishes around 6.30pm with 162 entries last year.
Paul Hazelwood, Stratford Boat Club’s Treasurer, says: “The regatta and also the Fun Regatta in July are very weather dependent events and without our sponsor Rosconn Group, we couldn’t risk holding the regatta. We are also amazingly lucky to have help from other river organisations such as the Avon Navigation Trust, the Sea Cadets, Avon Boating, the Environment Agency, Bancroft Cruisers, Canal & River Tours, the Countess of Evesham, and also the co-operation of those who make their living on the river.”
The charity already benefits from close links with Stratford Boat Club; Mencap customers enjoying rowing sessions in adapted boats, as Cath Errington, Fundraising Manager for Heart of England Mencap, explains:
“It’s a real privilege to be part of this year’s regatta and we owe a big thanks to Stratford Boat Club and to Rosconn Group too, both brilliant supporters of our charity.
“Getting out on the water and trying their hand at rowing is something our customers have gained a huge amount of pleasure out of.”
“Adaptive rowing means that equipment and training can be modified to meet the rower’s needs and abilities as closely as possible. We will listen and learn to help the participant to get the most out of the sport. There are many benefits to being involved in rowing; the sense of freedom, making life-long friends, and learning new skills whilst keeping fit and healthy. All this can be done on the water or indoors, just for fun or to compete in races.”
A group of Heart of England Mencap customers will be at the regatta on the day and it is hoped that there may be an opportunity for them to participate in a row-past
There will be plenty of fundraising fun and games riverside as well, from hook-a-duck to a raffle and tombola, all organised on Heart of England Mencap’s stand at the event.
Paul Stanton, President of Stratford Boat Club, says: “Stratford upon Avon Boat Club looks forward to welcoming competing crews, VIPs and guests and especially Stratford and Warwickshire residents and visitors to the town down to watch and enjoy what is going to be an action-packed day. Having Heart of England Mencap as the regatta’s nominated charity emphasises the importance that Rosconn Group and Stratford Boat Club attaches to being a working part of the local community.”
Daniel O’Donnell, Managing Director of Rosconn Group, says: “We are delighted that Heart of England Mencap has been chosen as the designated charity for this year’s regatta. We are proud to sponsor the event, it’s such an important local sporting occasion and it’s wonderful to support such a friendly club that encourages people of all abilities to take up rowing as a sport or just for fun.”
Other Gold Sponsors for the regatta include Burgis & Bullock, Bancroft Cruisers, The Rigby Foundation, Stratford Self Store, GroupComms, Macdonald Alveston Manor, Crowne Plaza Stratford, AMW Site Services Ltd and HL Barnes & Sons as a Bronze Sponsor. If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For media coverage, please see Stratford Observer online at https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/news/spectators-to-gather-in-oar-for-annual-regatta