Fulham Reach Boat Club wins Community Club of the Year Award

The award is one of the Sport + Recreation Alliance’s Community Sport and Recreation Awards 2024


The Community Club of the Year award, sponsored by the International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport, celebrates the organisations, clubs and programmes that have directly improved the local community throughout the last 12 months.

Fulham Reach BC’s Alastair Horn, Boathouse Manager, and Julia Philipson, Head of Fundraising, collected the award from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and Lisa O’Keefe, Secretary General of the IWG Women and Sport. They are pictured with Kim Leadbeater MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sport, at Headingley Stadium in Leeds.

The award presentation was followed up by a rendition of Happy Birthday to celebrate the Duke of Edinburgh’s 60th Birthday. The duke made a speech and stressed the importance of improving diversity and inclusion in sport, saying: “The really important thing is that sense of belonging. We must do better to make everybody feel part of sport.”

Adam Freeman-Pask, CEO of Fulham Reach BC, commented on receiving the good news of the award: “It’s amazing that our charity has won this prestigious award – there are around 150,000 sports clubs in the UK and this year we have been recognised as Community Club of the Year! I have always felt rowing gets overlooked as a sport to help drive positive change in individuals and bring communities together, this award helps put our sport firmly on the map. A huge credit goes to all the hard work of the rowers, coaches, staff and supporters for making Fulham Reach BC a success since it was established 10 years ago.”

FRBC runs several programmes benefiting people from a wide range of backgrounds, which caught the attention of the Community Sport and Recreation Award judges.

In the 2022/23 academic year 866 children were reached through the State School Rowing Initiative, the Free Water Sports Weeks during school holidays expanded its number of participants by 37% to reach children from deprived areas; and the Boats Not Bars initiative has improved the physical and psychological wellbeing of participants, also winning the Innovation Award at the Sports Business Awards a couple of months ago.