THERE were great celebrations at Stratford Boat Club last Friday as the new training room and refurbished club room were opened by James Roe MBE and Nadhim Zahawi MP.
Stephen Haighton, chairman of Stratford Boat Club, said: “We have been extraordinarily lucky here at the boat club that we got together the right team, with the right vision, ambition, skills, talent and commitment, ably led by Glyn Hawkins for whom this has been virtually a full-time job and who we recognised with honorary life membership last week.
“We were also very fortunate to have the right people advising us including some great partners such as MRT Architects and Iris Construction and invaluable help from Alan Meegan at British Rowing.”
Other guests included chief executives and senior executives from Sport England, British Rowing and Stratford Town Trust, who provided just under £200,000 between them to fund the project.
Stratford BC president said: “The key objectives and main reasons for building are to provide all-weather, year-round training facilities to improve access for disabled athletes and to increase participation in sport and rowing.
“There have been a number of very generous individual donations including my predecessor Felix Badcock whose estate provided £12,500 for the development. He was a very passionate advocate of building the extension and we know the finished result is a fitting memorial to him.”
ON SUNDAY the Stratford Boat Club Masters squad were back on the water commencing their regatta season with a tough baptism at Nottingham Masters’ Regatta.
This high standard event, which attracts some of the best crews in the country, was held in good weather conditions which contributed to some high quality racing.
First up for Stratford were Chris Straw and Joe Moore in Masters F double sculls who put in a brave performance to finish third in their event. They followed this up by competing with Mike Atkins and Simon Moore in Masters F quad sculls.
In an excellent race against Peterborough, Stratford led out to the 600m mark, only to be pipped by Peterborough by four seconds in a time of 4.02 minutes.
Stratford’s final race of the day saw Gary Clay, Tom Doherty, Richard Nelson and Simon Beard compete in the Masters E coxless fours.
After a shipwreck on the start which cost Stratford two lengths on the rest of the field, the crew settled into a good race pace and by 500 metres had overhauled the entire field to lead at the halfway mark – a position they held until 800 metres when they were just overhauled to finish third – 2.5 seconds behind the race winners Express from Cambridge in a time of three minutes, 40 seconds.