Maidenhead RC launches new adaptive rowing programme with Invictus Games rowers

Maidenhead RC will launch its new adaptive rowing programme on Sunday, 10 September with the help of rowers representing Great Britain at the Invictus Games

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Adaptive rowers at the Maidenhead Regatta (c) C Steel

Maidenhead RC are launching a new adaptive rowing programme on Sunday, 10 September to help get more people with a disability active in rowing.

In order to prepare for the launch of the new programme, Maidenhead has invested in both its club infrastructure and adaptive rowing coaching knowledge. This has included improving the accessibility of the pontoon to allow for wheelchair access, adapting some existing boats and borrowing others from neighbouring clubs, and working with Marlow RC’s adaptive programme to bring adaptive events to their annual regatta. The new ramp was partly funded with proceeds from the 2016 regatta, which were allocated to start the adaptive programme.

Nick Steel, adaptive rowing co-ordinator at Maidenhead RC, said: “We want to encourage more participation in rowing from this section of the local community, as we aim to be a fully inclusive club.

“We would like our adaptive programme to reflect the spectrum of rowers that we already have in the club; from recreational to international. We hope that Sunday’s event – with its mix of Invictus athletes, adaptive rowers who raced at our recent regatta, and our adaptive Learn to Row rowers- will bring along potential rowers to enjoy our sport. It will be about having fun as well as being inspired to get active.”

To mark the launch of the new programme, Maidenhead RC are holding an event on Sunday, 10 September where rowers will be joined by a number of athletes who have been selected to represent Great Britain at the Invictus Games in Toronto later this month. While the Invictus Games athletes will be going for gold on the indoor rowing machine out in Toronto, this will be their chance to have a go at on-water rowing as part of their final preparations ahead of the Games.

As well as the event being a final send off for the Invictus Games athletes, there will also be a chance for anyone with a disability to get on the water and try rowing.

To help get people started on the water, GB Para-rower Andy Houghton will be there to share some top tips before he heads out to Florida for the World Rowing Championships at the end of September. Double Paralympian Naomi Riches will also be there to lend her support for the day.

For more information about the event or Maidenhead RC’s adaptive rowing programme email adaptiverowing@maidenheadrc.org.uk.