Turin: A Welcome Second to None!

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club’s adaptive section received a terrific welcome in Turin, Italy when fifteen athletes, helpers and coaches took part in Armida’s Rowing Club’s sixteenth annual celebration of para-rowing!

The two-day event attracted entries from several countries including Portugal and the United Kingdom. Sadly, some foreign crews were unable to attend due to an air traffic control strike in Italy. Over one hundred and fifty athletes took part in the racing.

Canottieri Armida (Armida Rowing Club) is the premier adaptive club in Italy. This commitment has been rewarded with excellent results, medals and para-rowers representing Italy.

Mark Dewdney, Stratford’s Head Adaptive Coach said “They have been running a squad for over twenty years compared with our seven years. We are the biggest in the UK with nearly athletes: Armida have eighty athletes!. Their adaptive team is just part of the club fabric: they focus on those with learning difficulties. You can see these athletes are treated with respect and understanding: they are happy and comfortable in their environment. It is inspirational. We can learn much from them. There are a few areas, I think, where the reverse is also true!”

Both clubs are working on an integrated mixed ability approach to rowing. The able-bodied and those with a disability training, racing and enjoying the sport together.

Mark said, “Much of the racing was club versus club but towards the end we mixed everyone up in fours and eights. People with different issues and from different countries racing together: great fun! We hope to be going back next October. The squad is now back home on the Avon: we hope the weather is kind for a little while yet before the winter bites”

Commenting on the adaptive squad’s very successful visit to Turin, Paul Stanton, the Club’s President said, “The welcome that Armida gave our rowers, coaches and helpers shows the international spirit that is so evident in the rowing community. We can learn a lot from their example. Mark Dewdney, our Head Adaptive Coach, presented Armida with a special trophy marking our thanks and lasting friendship”

For media coverage, see Stratford Herald online https://www.stratford-herald.com/sport/a-warm-welcome-to-para-rowing-festival-9282156 and page fifty seven and Stratford Observer online https://www.stratfordobserver.co.uk/sport/rowing-stratfords-adaptive-squad-receive-warm-welcome-in-turin and back sports page https://www.stratfordobserver.co.uk/editions/view/?/Stratford/2022/11/04&pages=024

For more pictures of the adaptive squad in Turin, see https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1cXEy8hdLMoDIbDotkXbQfTIlsDUyzivn and https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1jFZBKRIOcljzLbyZhuu_EdCsSTj8E1SW

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