Stratford Boat Club Has A Weekend of Thanks


The weekend was a busy one for Stratford upon Avon Boat Club and on Saturday the Club welcomed many dignitaries to help the Club celebrate the addition of several boats to the fleet. After a short welcome, Paul Stanton, Stratford Boat Club’s President, took the opportunity of thanking those who had donated the funds to buy the boats and to congratulate Mark Dewdney, Head Adaptive Coach, who had co- and spearheaded the fundraising. Commenting, Paul Stanton said, “The arrival of the new boats will not only be a great benefit to the adaptive section but to the whole Club: the boats will be used for Learn to Row courses, the summer junior camps, weekday rowers, juniors, seniors and masters – able-bodied and adaptive athletes alike”

First to name a boat were Cllr Kevin Taylor, Mayor of Stratford upon Avon, and Mrs Pauline Taylor, Mayoress: the double scull that they named was ‘Lucetta’, Waiting Women to Julia in Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona. This stable double scull has been purchased with the help of Sport England

The Club has benefited considerably from Cllr Tony Jackson’s Mayor’s Charitable Fund during his term of office as the previous Mayor of Stratford and so it was fitting that Tony and his wife Mandy were called upon to name the next boat ‘Julia’, Lady of Verona again from Two Gentlemen of Verona

Stratford Boat Club has had a long association with The Shakespeare Lions and their sponsorship and encouragement of young adults to achieve their potential: Peter Humberstone, representing The Shakespeare Lions, named a single scull ‘Silvia’, the Duke of Milan’s Daughter. This single scull has been purchased with the help of The Rowing Foundation who also provided funds towards the new ramp which enables adaptive rowers to access the boating area more easily

For some considerable time, Stratford Boat Club has had an adaptive launch called ‘Juno’ but due to Covid restrictions, it had not been possible to ‘name’ the boat formally. The specially designed safety craft has a bow ramp which can be lowered to rescue any capsized adaptive athlete and having this capability has meant that the adaptive squad has been able to offer rowing to a wider circle of athletes. The adaptive launch ‘Juno’ was bought with the help of donations from Henley Regatta Charitable Trust and is sponsored by Salts Healthcare, is one of the UK’s oldest, family-run companies that has grown to become a highly successful international medical device manufacturer. Naming ‘Juno’ was Mrs Caroline Salt, Director of Salts Healthcare, and Mrs Annabelle Salt-Forster. Both Caroline and Annabelle were former rowing members of Stratford Boat Club along with Phil Salt, former Captain of the Club

Also thanked for their contributions and support were Cliff Armstrong, President of the Rotary Club of Stratford upon Avon; The Town Trust and local press and media

The Club and guests then moved from the water’s edge around to the entrance to the Club where a new AED/defibrillator has been installed for public use. Paul Stanton took this opportunity to thank Club coach, Trevor Tiller, for his hard work in crowd funding the appeal for purchasing the equipment and to Tom Doherty, Land & Buildings Committee Member for wiring up the device and Jim Blatcher for giving training on the defibrillator. ‘Opening’ the AED/defibrillator was Tara Doncses, Director of Holloway Property Development Ltd who had contributed to the funding appeal

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald page seventy six

Back on the Water and Feeling Good!

This Easter weekend was a bumper one for Stratford upon Avon Boat Club as members got back onto the river under the easing of Covid restrictions for organised outdoor sport. The extra ‘feel good factor’ was added by The Rotary Club of Stratford upon Avon who presented Stratford Boat Club with a much welcome donation to the Boat Club’s funds in what has been a very challenging time

Said Steve Wellstead, Junior Co-ordinator and J17/J18 Performance squad coach, “Seeing our young athletes back on the water this week has been immensely heartening. The squad athletes have followed their coaches’ home training exercise plans during the lockdown periods: Stratford Boat Club also lent out our ergos (static rowers) to Club members so that they could their keep up and exceed their physical fitness targets. Seeing the athletes’ performance to date, athletes have kept themselves trim! Getting back to sport has also contributed much to all our mental wellbeing”

©Mark Williamson, Stratford Herald

Paul Stanton, Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s President commented, “The substantial donation to our Club’s funds from The Rotary Club of Stratford upon Avon is most welcome. Financially and mentally this has been a very challenging year for Stratford Boat Club and its members: however, we are very aware how lucky we are compared to so many other people and organisations. The Rotary Club’s donation to Stratford Boat Club is part of Rotary’s far reaching charitable outreach to Stratford’s and Warwickshire’s communities: our donation came from the entry monies from the last two cancelled Shakespeare Rotary Marathons which runners had left with Stratford Rotary to distribute as they felt fit rather than ask for a refund. We are so grateful for the participants’ and Rotary’s generosity”

Stratford Boat Club looks forward to working closely with The Rotary Club of Stratford upon Avon for their plans for 2022 and another successful Shakespeare Rotary Marathon and Half Marathon: Stratford Boat Club is also hoping to stage its own regatta in 2021, most likely in September 2012

For media coverage, see Stratford herald online and page fifty six and Stratford Observer online and back sports page