Daley Thompson drops in to support Deben RC

A surprise visit by former Olympic champion decathlete Daley Thompson gave youngsters at Deben Rowing Club in Suffolk a huge boost last month.

The athlete was visiting friends and enjoying the activities of the Maritime Woodbridge weekend along the river wall, when he spotted the activities at the rowing club on Saturday (13th September).

Some 20 teenagers, aided by 35 adult volunteers, had commandeered five indoor rowing machines in the clubhouse to row 1,347km, the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats, across the weekend.

He was so impressed by the performances of the club’s juniors that he returned the next day to cheer them on during their final leg. In all, it took them 23 hours and 45 minutes to complete the distance.

While Daley did not participate in the row himself, he was enthusiastic and supportive of the efforts of the young rowers, talked to the spectators and participants, and happily posed for photographs.

The funds raised will be used to acquire a new fine single racing boat for the juniors (half the money for this project has received a grant from the Rowing Foundation), and a crew boat for the club.

By Catherine Larner

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