Yorkshire – Doncaster Rowing – Sport, Health and Education in Partnership

In Doncaster  over  3000  young  people  from  9  secondary  and  3  special  schools  have taken  part  in  regular  activity  organised  by  the Doncaster Schools Rowing Association (DSRA) and Doncaster Rowing Club.   Working  together both clubs have achieved  the Sport  England  Clubmark  award  and  helped  drive  up  high  quality  sustainable participation.  

Doncaster Rowing Club  is  located  in  the deprived Hexthorpe area of  the city and offers indoor and water activity  to young people, adults and has an active programme  for  the over  50s.    The  club  works  closely  with  a  range  of  local  agencies  to  promote  sport, physical activity, education and healthy  living.   The club  forms an  important part of  the Community  Sports  Network  and  having  Clubmark  has  enabled  Doncaster  MBC  to prioritise working with the sport.

Club Captain Dudley Fletcher reports that “Using the Clubmark programme has given us a great structure  to work  through and helped raise our profile.   There has been a huge growth  in  youth membership  but  this  has  also  been  backed  by  an  expansion  in  adult participation.    Our  womens  health  and  fitness  programme  has  grown  by  more  than 450%.”  

Indeed  the  club  has  strong  links  to  both  the  Learning  and  Leisure Directorates within Doncaster MBC.  With the club providing a strong physical activity programme the PCT Chairman  is  a  strong  advocate  of  their work.   Working  in  partnership with Doncaster MBC  the  club  has  accessed  a  range  of  investment  streams  including  capital  and revenue funding from the Local Network Fund.

Rory Semple from the national governing body sums up the partnership approach.  “The most  impressive aspect about how  the Doncaster Clubs have operated  is  the way  they have worked with a whole host of local agencies, not least the Local Authority.  This has helped  the club attract people who would probably never have  thought about physical activity  let  alone  rowing.”    Through  Clubmark  and  other  national  governing  body programmes the DSRA provides three levels of support to young people.  

Firstly,  health  and  fitness  equipment  is  placed  into  school  sites with  staff  and  leaders trained in its safe and effective use.  Secondly, schools are assisted by volunteers and a full time Community Sports Coach.  Thirdly, pupils are invited to take part in water based activity  at  Doncaster  Rowing  Club  which  has  recently  been  redeveloped  through  the Sport  England  /  Amateur  Rowing  Association  Community  Club  Development Programme.  In this way a large number of people can take part in physical activity at a level that suits their interest and skill level.  

The  programme  is  supported  by  Doncaster Metropolitan  Borough  Council,  Doncaster PCT,    South  Yorkshire  County  Sports  Partnership,  Sport  England  Yorkshire  and  the Amateur Rowing Association.  

For further information please contact Doncaster MBC 

T –  01302 737935 
E – active.recreation@doncaster.gov.uk