Minerva Bath Rowing Club hits the jackpot

The stars must be aligned for Minerva Bath RC – last week they won Bath & North East Somerset’s Club of the Year award and this week Sport England confirmed that the club has been awarded £50,000 of ‘Inspired Facilities’ funding. The award will be put towards the much-needed development of the club’s facilities – adding running water, toilets and showers to the site.

Miverva Bath – currently home to 120 members as well as Bath University’s Crew Bath – also hosts one of the GB Rowing Team’s 10 Start Programme talent identification projects, and was where London 2012 gold medallist Helen Glover learnt to row. Despite this the club currently has just one portable toilet available to them, some 50m away in the car park.

The team working on the bid has had to contend with a number of setbacks in trying to gain access to fresh water and sewerage, but at each step of the way has been helped by local people and businesses. Local water provider Wessex Water has pledged to help provide the mains connections, and chairman, Colin Skellett, said he was delighted to hear the news and to be able to assist the facilities project.

Don Foster, MP, said: “This is great news for Minerva – Bath’s only rowing club – whose hard working and passionate members are determined to make the sport of rowing accessible to all in our community. This significant funding boost will allow Minerva to make much needed improvements to the club’s facilities.”

Chairman Elaine Hoyes, added: “To have a shower, loo and running water at Minerva Bath Rowing Club will be a dream come true. These are basic needs that we take for granted but you really miss them when you don’t have them. It is amazing how close we are to other properties and yet how complicated and expensive it is to connect such basic services to our site, but I think our team spirit and desire to win things is certainly coming through in this project!  Now, thanks to Sport England, this injection of funding will help us to further develop this successful and friendly club and keep our sport open to everyone who wants to be a part of it. That can only be a good thing for the people of Bath.”

Work will begin at the Minerva Bath site soon, following a visit by Sport England to work through plans with the club. For further information about the club and its facilities project, please visit www.minervabathrc.org.uk.

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