Chair of Isle of Ely RC swaps her blades for goggles in #WSW16

Throughout Women’s Sport Week we’ll be sharing stories from women involved in all aspects of our sport. Teresa Aslett, Chair of Isle of Ely RC tells us about her journey into the sport and her forthcoming fundraising challenge.

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Teresa Aslett, Chair of Isle of Ely RC tells us about her journey into the sport and her forthcoming fundraising challenge.

“I took up rowing at 48, some 10 years ago.  I absolutely love it and I owe so much to the sport and to the club.  I’ve seen my fitness levels improve but not just that, my whole wellbeing too.  I was new to the area and being part of a rowing club helped me make friends, feel part of the community and contribute to the sport too.  In that time I’ve gone from being a rowing newbie to getting my level 2 coaching qualification, I now launch drive for the club and I’m a national umpire, supporting quite a few events in the region.

“A few months ago our club launched a fundraising campaign to improve the facilities for our members. I came up with the idea of setting myself a personal challenge to do my bit.  I wanted to do something that I find difficult; a swim. I’m not a great swimmer, I generally just splash about in the sea with the kids.  So, I decided to really push myself and chose a 5km open water swim! It wasn’t until I started that I realised I may have set a target I couldn’t reach – swimming’s hard work but it’s great exercise and I’ve definitely got fitter as I’ve trained. On Saturday 8 October I’ll be undertaking my challenge at Hannam’s Wake Hub where I’ve completed all my training, with much encouragement from the owners, Ben & Terry. The lake’s fantastic – clean water, fresh air and watching the sunset as you swim – It’s exhilarating!

“As the current Chair of Isle of Ely RC I’m passionate about the work we do at the club. We’re a friendly group, welcoming everyone whether they are new to rowing, or used to row and now want to get back into the sport. We pride ourselves in making rowing accessible to the whole community, we have rowers like me, we also have a World Class Start group of potential Olympians and we work in collaboration with The Oliver Zangwill Centre using rowing as a form of rehabilitation.

I don’t ever think it’s too late or that you’re too old to do something – just get out there and do it – there will always be someone ready to help and encourage you.

“We’ve found that, since 2012 our Learn to Row courses have consistently been made up of a higher percentage of women than men.  Women are very involved in the running of the Club too, with a female chair, captain and welfare officer. We’ve recently had 2 women coaches go through the Level 2 coaching course and we have a number going on to do an RYA2 launch driving course.  Our fundraising group is entirely made up of women.  We just crack on and get things done. We have new rowers of all ages who are just getting into the sport and enjoying time on the water. I don’t ever think it’s too late or that you’re too old to do something – just get out there and do it – there will always be someone ready to help and encourage you.

To support Teresa in her open water swim challenge, visit her JustGiving page.

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