British Rowing 2009 and beyond
L to R: Ben Hunt-Davis MBE, Gary Harris (Deputy Chairman), Di Ellis CBE (Chairman), Annamarie Phelps (Deputy Chairman), Ron Paterson (Treasurer), Mike Morrice (President Scottish Rowing)
British Rowing, formerly known as the Amateur Rowing Association, marked its change of name with a weekend of workshops and lively discussion about the future of Rowing.
The Chairman, Di Ellis CBE, with more than 21 years experience at the helm of the Association challenged her audience not to limit their aspirations for Rowing, to do some ‘blue sky’ thinking and take a hard look at the organisation.
British Rowing is just one of the governing bodies of sport that are well aware of the challenges that lie ahead. They will be expected to attract, support and sustain increasing numbers as a result of the Olympic Games in 2012. Di Ellis said that British Rowing is determined to be in excellent shape to manage the future.
The Amateur Rowing Association has been the National Federation for rowing since its inception, selecting GB crews and responsible for the funding and management of the extremely successful GB rowing squad. Scottish Rowing and WARA will continue to govern the sport in their respective countries but now have representation on British Rowing’s Executive Board.
‘Losing a familiar and well-loved logo and name after 127 years has been a wrench for many’, the Chairman said, ‘but British Rowing and our new logo give a much clearer message about who we are in the 21st Century. We are all incredibly proud of the achievements of our rowers and all the volunteers who deliver the sport at grass roots level, supported by a committed team of staff, and none of that will change.
We have been fortunate in receiving tremendous support from lottery funding and our sponsors. We are indebted to our British Olympic Association FTSE 100 partner for their fantastic enthusiasm for this project and for the expert resources the sport has been able to draw on in bringing us to this point. ‘Amateur’ was always a problematic word as our history shows.’
Sir Steve Redgrave CBE, Honorary President of British Rowing, added ‘We have been extremely professional in our outlook for many years, the change of name to British Rowing reflects this and will have a far greater impact on the sport as we move towards 2012.’