STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club’s head adaptive coach, Mark Dewdney, has been welcomed as a new ambassador by International Mixed Ability Sports (IMAS).
Dewdney has years of experience promoting inclusion through rowing and is an internationally renowned coach in the para-rowing scene.
During his time in the sport, Dewdney has implemented many projects to ensure people of all abilities could be involved in rowing activities.
This includes trialling the mixed ability model which has become a point of reference for the whole international Mixed Ability movement.
Dewdney said: “The Mixed Ability approach has opened my eyes to a better way of delivering and promoting the benefits of sport to all.
“It’s about making everyone part of the rowing community in its fullest sense – social and sporting integration.
“We should all be in the same boat having fun. I am honoured to become an IMAS Ambassador and will do my best to promote its inclusive approach.”
Dewdney has coached para/adaptive rowing for 16 years and spent the last seven years working for Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club.
When he arrived at Stratford, the club had just one para rower with the squad now boasting 20 rowers and caters for all types of disability.
He and his team have won a number of awards for their proactive approach to inclusion and were named the UK Parasport Club of the Year in 2020.
In 2018 he helped establish the Club Adaptive Group (CAG) of UK rowing clubs as the voice for the UK Adaptive Rowing Community and he has been the group’s chairman since their formation.
The CAG now has almost 40 clubs and other organisations affiliated to it and works directly with British Rowing to formulate policies to increase participation and foster best practice.