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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Lake District rowing club receives £10,000 Sport England grant

A sports club has been given £10,000 by Sport England to teach rowing on Windermere.

The lottery funds will help Lakeland Rowing Club which began in 2007, but now has more than 20 members.

A club crew is due to represent Lake District in the Great Tyne Row on September 20.

But there are big plans to grow the club with a southern base on Windermere as well as the northern base on Derwentwater. They have been offered a place to row at the Lake District National Park's Brockhole visitor centre on Windermere and are fundraising £20,000 to buy some boats so they can start running British Rowing's Learn 2 Row courses.

Club secretary Nick Cowan said: “Rowing is a sport that can be enjoyed at any age, from young teenager to people well past retirement age. It can be taken as a competitive sport from local to Olympic standard or as a recreational pastime. It is a non-impact sport that is unlikely to cause injury and as it gives the whole body a workout, it is ideal to improve cardiovascular fitness and improve muscle tone and strength. Both sexes enjoy the sport and at the moment the membership of the governing body, British Rowing has a 50/50 split in membership between men and women. If you are simply wanting a row with a few friends on the lake or if you are training for a race, you will not find a more beautiful setting than a paddle on either Derwentwater or Windermere.”

There are about 50 people on the waiting list and a level 2 qualified coach ready to teach them. This Sport England Grant is half of the project costs and will buy one of the boats needed.

The club is now appealing to local businesses asking if they will sponsor a boat. It would mean their name would be on the side of a boat that would compete in races and be out on the water in Windermere for training as much of the week as possible.

Project lead Fiona Marley Paterson said: "This is fantastic news for the club. I never thought when I learned to row 3 years ago I'd end up trying to set up a club on Windermere. It's taken a lot of hard work to get to this point but it's so exciting.

“I've been overwhelmed by the support we've had from local people and organisations who can't believe there's so little rowing in this area. I never expected the waiting list to grow so big in just a few months but I think it's testament to the Cumbrian attitude. We love the outdoors, many move here for sport and the thought of taking on a new challenge is exhilarating."

Cumbria Tourism pr manager Greg Stephenson said: “Many parts of the UK have a long association with the sport of rowing and it has always seemed strange to me that with the exception of Talkin Tarn Rowing Club, there are no publicly accessible rowing clubs in the Lake District.

“Which when you think about the fact that the World class rowing events are regularly held on other lakes throughout the world including Lake Bled, Slovenia and Lake Rotsee, Lausanne, Switzerland seems very strange.

“So the fact that this group of ambitious individuals have got together to work towards introducing the sport to Windermere is tremendous and we fully commend what they are trying to achieve – just imagine how wonderful it would be to see a world class regatta hosted on one of our iconic Lakes with the resulting opportunities to showcase what this area has to offer both as a destination.”

Lake District National Park Authority Brockhole manager Neil Manning said: “Water activity is hugely popular at the Lake District Visitor Centre on the shores of Windermere.

“We offer a range of non-powered boats as a great way of enjoying our spectacular lake. We are delighted at the prospect of hosting Lakeland Rowing Club’s exciting new venture and hope it will encourage people to find out more about just how wonderful rowing on Windermere can be.”

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