Stratford upon Avon Boat Club voted 2020 Parasport Club of the Year

Congratulations to Stratford upon Avon Boat Club – winners of a nationwide public vote to be named Parasport Club of the Year

Stratford upon Avon Boat Club were today named Parasport powered by Toyota’s very first Club of the Year after winning a public vote which also included all 11 Club of the Month winners. In October, the West Midlands club was voted Parasport Club of the Month for the exceptionally inclusive environment which they have cultivated.

In a special interview with Parasport, Adaptive Head Coach Mark Dewdney, said: “Everyone’s very proud to win the award, and I’m proud of them. Given it’s a public vote, it’s very special.

“The whole team have been campaigning for votes and really getting behind the effort, and I think that shows what we’re all about.

“It’s a privilege to be associated with all those other clubs, they are doing great work for disability sport”

He added: “Winning this award shows that together we are more than the sum of our parts. Any team with that ethos is going places.

“A club’s only as strong as what the members are prepared to contribute to it. We’ve got a strong team that works together.

“We were genuinely surprised to win. All the clubs we were up against – you could read every one of their stories and be mightily impressed with what they do. If any of them had won instead they would have been thoroughly deserving.

“It’s a privilege to be associated with all those other clubs, they are doing great work for disability sport.”

Talking about the club’s inclusive environment, Mark said: “There is no selection criteria for joining. If we can make it safe and you are willing to give it a go, we will try to make it work for you.

“One thing I’m keen to do is start an adaptive junior section. At the moment we’ve got disabled rowers aged 17 to 57, but I’d like to start an offering for teenagers.”

Reflecting on the new award, he said: “One of the biggest benefits of being Parasport Club of the Year will, hopefully, be more funding and perhaps a bit of sponsorship.

“What I would like to end up seeing is that it becomes an everyday thing, that every club has one or two – or however many – adaptive rowers.

“Disabled people should have the same opportunities as everybody else.”

Have you been inspired by the brilliant inclusive work undertaken by Parasport Club of the Year and Club of the Month winners?

Why not register for Parasport here and give your club a chance of winning Club of the Month in the future. 

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