Twickenham Celebrates New Facilities

Former British Rowing Chairman Di Ellis CBE took to the Thames on Sunday, to declare the new £800,000 extension and refurbishment of Twickenham Rowing Club officially open.

As she cut the magenta and blue ceremonial ribbon, Ellis praised the club’s considerable fundraising efforts, which since 2010 has seen it secure funding from  British Rowing through the capital facilities programme funded by Sport England, the Mayor of London’s Sports Legacy Fund, the City Bridge Trust and The Corporation of London. This funding has enabled Twickenham RC to double its training capacity, as well as updating its clubroom and kitchen, and providing disabled access to its facilities on Eel Pie Island.

To mark the occasion, Ellis was made an honorary lifetime member of the club (an honour bestowed on only three other people in Twickenham’s 153 year-history), and she was also presented with a miniature set of Twickenham oars. Ellis then formally named a brand new Hudson quad the ‘Di Ellis CBE’.

Alongside club president Keith Baldwin, Ellis was joined at the opening of the new facilities by Councillor Rita Palmer, the Mayor of Richmond; Paul Thorogood, CEO The Football Foundation, Kate Hoey MP, the Mayor of London’s Commissioner for Sport, and Dr Vince Cable, MP.  

Keith Baldwin said: “One of our goals is an expansion of our membership to enable more people of all ages and abilities to benefit from water based activity. These bigger and better facilities have already boosted our membership by about 30 per cent, and will enable us to accommodate a series of Learn to Row courses throughout the spring and summer.”

Vince Cable remarked that the clubhouse had been “transformed” from when he last visited 18 months ago. Kate Hoey, the Mayor of London’s Commissioner for Sport, added: “I’m delighted that the Mayor’s Facilities Fund is making a tangible difference towards improving grassroots sports provision, and I would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved in the project to date.”

The original clubhouse was built in 1880, and most of the external structure is still original. To find out more about the club and its facilities, visit www.twickenhamrc.co.uk.

Peter Crush

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