Christchurch Rowing Club celebrate new facilities

VIPs at Christchurch RC  

On Friday 3rd April, Mrs Di Ellis CBE, Chairman of the Amateur Rowing Association, officially opened Christchuch Rowing Club’s new boathouse extension. Other VIP guests included Mr Christopher Chope OBE, MP and the Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr David Flagg.

The club celebrated its 60th year in 2008, having started out on the River Stour in 1948 from the Keynes boat business facilities. Since then it has grown steadily to be one of the South’s leading rowing clubs.

Over recent years the club has been recognised as a Centre of Excellence for Junior rowing, being an ARA Accredited Clubmark Centre and having no less than five Juniors wearing international vests. Last year three Juniors achieved bronze medals at the National Rowing Championships, which has inspired them and others to train even harder for 2009.

Di Ellis said, "the ARA recognised the performances and participation figures achieved by the club and had been only too keen to support the project with Grant Aid and expand its activities further into the local schools and community. Provincial and community clubs such as Christchurch are the seed corn of British Rowing"

The consistency of the level of the club’s activities and Community outreach participation were key factors in securing a £59,400 Community Club Development Programme National Governing Body of Sport grant towards the new extension from the ARA via Sport England.

Christchurch Rotary Club had provided partnership funding to enable the installation of a flexible boat racking system in the new boathouse.

Peter Staddon, CRC Chairman said: "The opening of the new boathouse extension shows the strength of the club and its committment to rowing. We will be able offer one of the best facilities on the South Coast, backed by an excellent club structure, to anyone who wants to participate in the sport of Rowing".

As the ribbon was cut, the doors opened and the Junior rowers emerged, releasing a barrage of balloons in the club colours. They then took to the water in a range of sculling boats to show the 150 guests and members their capabilities with a row past on the River Stour.

After the event Di Ellis commented, "This was a memorable visit to Christchurch Rowing Club and the opening of their boathouse extension highlights how effective the partnerships can be between grant funders, the community and a vibrant club with first class volunteers.  Christchurch is an example of a club that is working hard at providing not only a sport for all, but a sport for life."

Photo shows l to r: Peter Staddon, CRC Chairman, Ian McDonald, Christchurch Rotary, Alan Meegan, Amateur Rowing Association, Christopher Chope, OBE, MP, Rosemary Napp, National Manager, ARA, Di Ellis, CBE, Chairman, ARA, Mayor & Mayoress David Flagg, Colin Neghbour, CRC President, Mike Green, CRC Trustee and Mike Devall CRC Treasurer.

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