Warrington celebrates 25th birthday

Warrington Rowing Club celebrated its 25th birthday last month, and can look back on a quarter of a century of success on a previously unfashionable stretch of the River Mersey.

[newsimage=0]With dedicated club members and support from British Rowing the Merseyside club has grown from a handful of borrowed boats on ‘a scruffy piece of wasteland’ to a thriving, Explore Rowing accredited club offering top-notch competitive rowing alongside casual coaching for rowers looking for a more flexible schedule.

Warrington RC was formed in 1986, after a local branch of the Rotary Club decided to stage an event on the River Mersey in spite of its reputation as one of the dirtiest rivers in Europe.

The then ARA president Neil Thomas suggested a club be created to host the Mersey-based regatta, and Warrington Rowing Club was born.

What followed was a monumental effort from the new club’s rowers, borrowing money to finance the club and spending vast amounts of time and effort constructing a cheap, permanent home for their boats. By 1990 the club had a new home, new boats, and had started producing athletes of the calibre of the GB Rowing Team’s Rich Egington, an Olympic gold medallist.

[newsimage=1]The new millennium saw the arrival of Project Oarsome. Warrington was one of the three pilot schemes receiving in the region of £45,000 from British Rowing for a fleet of PO boats.  In 2010 a further substantial award of over £140,000 from British Rowing’s facilities programme helped the club to extend its boat storage and land training areas.  The successful fund-raising continued as Warrington signed up to Explore Rowing – British Rowing’s flagship programmes to increase participation in school and recreational rowing respectively.

These programmes have helped ensure that Warrington RC is a thriving, open, and engaging community sports club, allowing people to row when, where, and how they like.

“Warrington Rowing Club has always prided itself on being a community asset every bit as much as a place for elite athletes to flourish,” Club Chairman Richard Sinnott said as the club received six new Explore Rowing boats in February 2010.

“With British Rowing’s generous support we now have six beautiful new boats through which people with no previous experience can confidently explore the fun and pleasure of rowing.”

Warrington now offers fun and friendly Learn to Row courses, as well as specific recreational rowing sessions – allowing experienced rowers to have fun on the water at times that suit them.

Warrington RC has come a long way in its 25-year history, and its commitment to offering fun, friendly, and accessible rowing on the River Mersey should ensure the future of the popular club for many years to come.

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