MAJOR building works are under way as Stratford Boat Club takes steps to a brighter future.
A ramp is being constructed to allow Stratford’s adaptive squad, especially those who use wheelchairs, easier access to the water.
Part of this project is being funded by The Rowing Foundation which is a registered charity.
Its purpose is to promote the participation in rowing of young people (those under 18 or still in full-time education) and the disabled of all ages.
Mark Dewdney, the club’s head adaptive coach, commented: “We are most grateful to The Rowing Foundation for their grant and investment into Stratford’s ever-increasing adaptive squad.
“Their faith in what can be achieved by adaptive athletes is very heartening.”
In addition, the club has taken the opportunity to replace the flat roof on the Singles’ Annex – the part of the club nearest to the Tramway Bridge – and also improve the drainage on the outdoor boat storage next to the annex.
Tom Doherty, Committee Member for Land and Buildings, said: “The repair of the Singles’ Annex roof and drainage work is much overdue and will make the property more secure and watertight. The total project has been expensive but such expenditure is essential.”
The projects have caused considerable disruption. Boats have been moved from the Singles’ Annex and outdoor storage area to temporary racking in the grounds – another major expense for the club.
Rowing has not been adversely affected by the building works, although boat preparation areas where athletes rig their boats have been considerably reduced due to the need for temporary racking and construction area compound.
There is no parking in the club grounds, with the exception of adaptive athletes. Amidst the disruption, the club continues to be very strict on the adherence to the Government’s and British Rowing’s Covid-19 protocols with frequent sanitising and increased cleaning of the property and equipment and social distancing.