Olympic legacy in action: Nottingham Rowing Club's new premises and equipment

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Friday, 12 April 2013 14:09 Written by Administrator

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Nottingham Rowing Club, based on Trentside near Trent Bridge, has had such success since its foundation in 2006 that it is expanding into new premises. The official opening of a new training centre is due to take place at noon on Sunday 14th April and marks the culmination of a major project that was started under former captain Andy Brown and has been coordinated by Club veteran rower Steve Cuthbert, to whom the committee expresses its gratitude.

Since the Olympics there has been a lot of interest in rowing generally, while the club's 2012 win at Henley Royal Regatta in the Wyfold Challenge Cup has boosted the profile of the club. Freshers' Week events that were held at local universities have led to more athletes joining the High Performance group, and the high profile of the club's award-winning junior squad has further driven the growing interest in membership that has driven the club's expansion.

The large new training centre, in premises formerly belonging to a local boatbuilder, is equipped with rowing machines, weight-training facilities and a stretching area. In addition, boat storage for the junior and High Performance squads and boat repair facilities are in place and there is also accommodation, where it is anticipated that members of the Club’s High Performance group will stay and be only a minute from the gym and the river.

The club has been fortunate in receiving financial support for the project from both national and local funding bodies. Sport England has made a generous grant available to the club from its Inspired Facilities Fund, investing in grassroots activity and making the Olympic legacy a reality for Nottingham. Sport England’s Property Director Charles Johnson said: "Good sports facilities play an important role in local communities; they not only improve people's sporting experience, but also help attract new participants. The popularity of this fund has exceeded our expectations, showing an appetite from sports clubs up and down the country to celebrate the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Rushcliffe Borough Council has also donated funds from their Local Sports Club Support Fund. In addition, Nottinghamshire County Council has made an award from its Olympic Legacy Fund for the purchase of four sculling boats. Club members have rallied round too and part-matched these generous grants.

Even before the official opening the training centre has been in use. The High Performance group under Dez Atkins are using their dedicated boathouse bay and have already won medals at the Jubilee Regatta on the Olympic course at Dorney Lake. The junior squad of over 20 youngsters drawn from local schools, coached by Claire Parnell, use the training centre almost every day while putting in over 14 hours of training each week. Also on site is boatbuilder Matt Pritchett, who is hard at work repairing craft damaged in the recent floods. Students too from Nottingham Trent University, Loughborough University and Nottingham Úniversity Medics are using the centre during the day.

The Olympic Legacy is a reality for Nottingham's rowers and the local community, thanks to Sport England, Rushcliffe Borough Council and Nottinghamshire County Council. 2013 promises to be a particularly successful one under the new club captain Mark Cooke.