Bedford hosts double celebration

Bedford RC hosted a double celebration at the weekend, launching its Explore Rowing programme and receiving a Sport England Inspired Facilities cheque at a ceremony on Sunday.

The club has received six stable Explore Rowing boats, which will allow novices and casual rowers alike to enjoy a more leisurely row along the River Great Ouse.

The new fleet includes two quadruple sculls, two doubles, and two singles, and four members of Championship Rugby side Bedford Blues were among the first to give the new boats a spin on Sunday afternoon.

The Bedford Blues quartet were joined by a number of local dignitaries and officials, as Bedford RC named each of their new boats after celebrated explorers.

British Rowing Chairman Di Ellis was on hand to name Raleigh – one of the Explore Rowing quads –  with local councillors Caroline Fensome and Apu Bagchi, Sport England’s Mark Omerod, Harpur Trust CEO David Russell, and Bedford MP Richard Fuller each naming one boat apiece.

After the boat-naming, Ormerod handed over a cheque worth over £32,000 from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund – which has been granted in order for the club to upgrade their clubhouse and improve their adaptive rowing facilities.

We are delighted to secure the first Inspired Facilities grant,’ said Bedford RC Chairman Mike Perry. ‘It will enable us to upgrade the quality of our premises to match the quality of our coaches, and provide suitable facilities for any disabled members of the community who wish to Explore Rowing. It is the cornerstone of our strategy to have an outstanding club for the 2012 Olympics’ legacy.’

For more information about Explore Rowing, visit www.explorerowing.org.

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