Minerva Bath ‘Spend a Penny’ campaign reaps rewards
On a sleety morning in January 2015, Minerva Bath RC celebrated an auspicious moment in its 100 year history – the opening of the first ever loos and showers at the club.
Having endured a pit loo and a portaloo since 1914 they have – with the help of Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund, a grant from their local council and a fundraising drive by members – opened what might just be the most expensive of basic facilities in the rowing club world. Logistical issues with access to fresh water and sewerage, planning issues and environmental concerns have meant the two-year project has faltered many times along the way. But, as you would expect from a bunch of competitive rowers, tenacity and perseverance and a determination not to be diverted from the goal have finally paid off.
With a message of congratulations from patron Helen Glover and a guest appearance, speech and ribbon cutting by none other than BBC sports presenter John Inverdale, the club feels that its star is rising.
Tara Sexton, the club’s junior representative, gave the main address – thanking sponsors, donors and members for enduring two years of what was termed ‘Austerity Minerva’ with all money being directed to the project. She was followed by British Rowing Start athlete Frazier Christie, who spoke of the difference the facilities will make to the Start athletes who train out of Minerva.
It is business as usual next weekend when crews take to the water for training, with plenty of races to work for including the biggest women’s eight race on the tideway, the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race.
For more information about the club, visit www.minervabathrc.org.uk.
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