CCDP: Runcorn RC Boathouse opening
Derek Twigg, MP for Halton, officially opened Runcorn Rowing Club’s new boathouse on Friday 18th April. The club is one of Halton’s oldest sports clubs and has been rowing on the River Weaver since 1894.
Di Ellis CBE, Chairman of the ARA, expressed her pleasure that the club had achieved so much with this boathouse, and how good it was to see such a family orientated club. Paul Gibbins, architect for Sport England, spoke about the great facility that the new boathouse offered.
The club has become a recognised centre of excellence for Junior rowing under the ARA’s Project Oarsome initiative. The number of club wins for Juniors at Head races and Regattas during the last year has been high and there has been an excellent increase in the number of senior rowers, many drawn from parents of club juniors.
Overall membership is increasing and the club’s association with Liverpool University Boat Club and Runcorn Canoe Club (both hosted on the site) is progressing steadily. The success with junior rowing led to grant aid of £145,954 from the ARA’s Community Club Development Programme (CCDP) portfolio towards the building of the new boathouse. The CCDP is funded by DCMS, and is managed by Sport England.
Derek Twigg, MP and Secretary of State for Defence, named the boathouse ‘The Jim Newcomb Boathouse’ in recognition of the perseverance and determination of the club’s Honorary Secretary in gaining this facility for Halton. Jim said ’We are most grateful to Derek for supporting us during the construction of the boathouse and we are very pleased we can show our appreciation by asking him to perform the opening ceremony’.
Included in the ceremony was the naming of two new double sculling boats by people who have also given tremendous support to the club. ‘Frodsham College’ was named by Headteacher Anna Cooper in recognition of the support that the college, and specifically the Headteacher, has given in supporting Project Oarsome and the club. The college has encouraged its own students and those from other schools to make use of the excellent training facilities.
‘Tate Liverpool’ was named by Philip Rooney, Managing Partner of the Liverpool office of DLA Piper, the club’s solicitors who gave very generously of their time and expertise. He spoke of his pleasure in seeing the club linked with the modern image of Tate Liverpool and looked forward to seeing the boats compete at a national event.
Having long since outgrown the previous cramped boathouses this new facility has doubled the storage capacity and has been a catalyst for accelerated membership and enthusiasm. Runcorn Rowing Club has achieved the ‘Sport England’ Clubmark, is an accredited member of ‘Club Halton’ and is a registered Community Amateur Sports Club.