The Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s Mixed Ability Group attended an international rowing event in Turin, Italy last week. Mixed Ability is the name given to fully integrated rowing – crews being made up of competitors with a disability and their mainstream – able-bodied – Club colleagues. Stratford, who attended the event in 2022, were instrumental in encouraging other UK clubs to attend. In several events, the UK crews were made up of a combination of Ross, Glasgow, Stratford and Ross-on-Wye rowers
The regatta itself was made up of several parts over two days of competition. A Special Olympics section for those with an intellectual impairment, a set of straight adaptive/para events. There was also a section set aside for the rehabilitation of ex-prisoners from Italian jails plus the Mixed Ability races
All the UK teams, whether individually or in the combined crews, had a very successful weekend. Stratford rowers won several gold, silver and bronze medals competing in five abreast side by side racing on the River Po. Every Stratford Boat Club competitor came home with a least one gong!
Commenting. Mark Dewdney, Stratford’s Head Adaptive Coach said, “It’s a great and unique event: we have sung its praises in the rowing world and the number of UK and Irish crews attending is on the rise. We went for a week to practice, race and enjoy Turin and the company of our Italian friends: in the end, the results don’t matter. What does matter is seeing everyone have a good time: a truly integrated regatta!”
For media coverage, please see British Rowing online https://www.britishrowing.org/2023/10/stratford-goes-paddling-on-the-po and Stratford Observer online https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratford-boat-clubs-mixed-ability-rowers-claim-glut-of-medals-at-international-event and back sports page https://stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2023/10/20&pages=32. Also Stratford Herald page forty four and online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/medals-for-all-at-italian-regatta-9335697 For more great pictures of Turin, please see the Adaptive Squad’s selection https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1g8mkTDJYpf9Wv7pOZ0thbErYJrEay5cj?usp=sharing