September 5th, 2016

A weekend to savour for rowers

WHILST all the celebrations were happening in Stratford, three Stratford Boat Club crews were representing the West Midlands at the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta which was held on the multi-lane course at Nottingham on Saturday.

Competition was keen and all Stratford crews responded well to it.

The girls’ J14 coxed four of Lara Davies, Ellie Gray, Issy Marsden and Maddie Winsper, coxed by Robin Connolly, qualified for the A Final and a superb row saw them finish in fourth place as they missed out on the bronze medal by two seconds.

This race was followed by the girls’ J14 coxed quad of Katie Wellstead, Gracie Mitchell, Katie Phillips and Emily Browne, expertly coxed by Mimi Hill, which also qualified for the A Final and with a spirited row finished fifth out of a dozen crews.

Next came the boys’ J16 coxless quad of Conrad Bird, Will Buckley, Khalid Ahmed and Isaac Herring who raced immaculately in an extremely high quality field to finish second in the B Final and eighth overall.

Coach Dr Graham Collier said: “The boat club is delighted with the performances of all the athletes. They represented their club and the region so very, very well.”

Earlier that morning, two coaches and a junior member had appeared on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Radio’s Grassroots outside broadcast sports programme from Stratford with Lorna Bailey to talk about the club’s expansion and successes and plans for the future.

Jessica Wiesheu, J14 sculler, said: “Being part of The Lorna Bailey Show was great fun. I was able to explain what a ‘buzz’ I get from rowing and being part of a crew.”

Delight for Christine

On Sunday, whilst several club members were taking part in the Stratford and London marathons, club welfare officer Christine Goodwin and three colleagues from the Wildmoor Spa took part in their own ergo marathon to raise funds for The Shakespeare Hospice.

The ergo marathon was over the same distance as the London and Stratford marathons and their colleague Tom Doherty said: “Christine completed her marathon distance of over 42km in just over three hours and seven minutes, the fastest recorded time for any woman of any age group in the UK, a tremendous achievement.

“On this score she is fourth in the world for her age group and seventh for all ages. She maintained very consistent splits throughout the distance, taking her rate up for the last 8,500m to ensure she beat her nearest rival.”

Fellow members of Stratford Boat Club were there for the latter stages to cheer Christine on and celebrate her success.

Her husband and coach, Shaw Goodwin, again gave a great level of support on the day as well as in the lead up to the trial.

“Christine is planning to row the Boston Marathon in the autumn,” said chairman Stephen Haighton.

“This is some achievement by Christine! This was really well done and many congratulations to her. Hopefully, the best is yet to come as Christine now has access to world class training facilities at the club too!”

The final celebration of a packed weekend was the ‘soft’ opening of the club’s new pavilion training suite on Sunday. This will now enable the club to expand and cater for the increased sporting needs for athletes in the Stratford area.

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