On Saturday 30th January 2016, Windermere Rowing Club is holding a Rowathon at Ulverston Gym in Ulverston Leisure Centre.
Coaches will be teaching people to row on the gym’s rowing machines. New rowers will then join the club’s members in their attempt to row 100 miles from 9am to 5pm.
It follows on from the club’s very successful Rowathon in Kendal Leisure Centre last year, when they rowed non-stop for 7 hours.
The club was formed at Fell Foot Park on Windermere in Spring 2015 and has gone from strength to strength, teaching 60 people to row during the summer and developing a club of around 60 members.
It began as Lakeland Rowing Club South but was so successful it separated from it’s parent club, Lakeland Rowing Club on Derwent Water, at the end of 2015.
The newly-formed Windermere Rowing Club is now full of enthusiastic people from across South Cumbria who are keen to teach more people to row.
The club is a fun, social club that caters for everyone. Many in the club come just for the peaceful relaxation of a leisurely row on England’s longest lake, while others want to row competitively in 2016 but to do that, they need to raise money for some finer, racing boats.
The Rowathon is designed to be a fun introduction to rowing and the club also hopes donations will help towards the boat fund.
The club has decided to keep its membership fees as low as possible in order to make rowing accessible to everyone. Fees are just £96 a year, the equivalent of £8 per month, which covers site fees and insurance, but means the club has to fundraise for new boats on top of that.
Coaches will ask for a donation to learn to row at the Rowathon, which is the same price as many exercise classes, so the club hopes it’ll be an affordable way to try a new sport.
The club currently has two stable quads, thanks to kind donations from the Sir John Fisher Foundation and Sport England, and two stable singles, donated by Chester-le-Street Amateur Rowing Club in the North East. In 2016, the club hopes to buy two more training boats, some stable doubles but also some finer, racing boats.
Sophie Scott, Funding Officer and one of the club’s coaches said:
“We’re really excited to be hosting our first rowathon as a brand new rowing club and show everyone what we’re about. 100 miles is a long way, but we’re hoping with the help of the local community, we’ll be able to get there! We also hope the Rowathon is going to be an opportunity to get people involved in such a wonderful sport. There will be club coaches on hand to go through the rowing basics and advertising our 2016 Learn to Row courses, where you can come and row with us on the beautiful lake Windermere.”
Fiona Marley Paterson, founder and Development Officer of Windermere Rowing Club said:
“We’re really grateful to North Country Leisure who have been so supportive in helping us set up the first rowing club in the south lakes.
Many of the were staff cajoled into joining us in 2015 as well as a polar bear, a police woman and lots of gym-goers! We’re looking forward to having a lot of fun, sharing the sport we love with anyone who’d like to come down.
I hope people will enjoy it so much they’ll join one of our Learn to Row courses on the water, but even if they don’t, at least anyone using a rowing machine in the gym afterwards will know good British Rowing technique, which will protect their back. That has to be a good thing!”
“Having been in a sporting desert for 20 odd years, I was saved by rowing ! Right from the first day of the learn to row course,everyone has been friendly and incredibly supportive. The club is very inclusive with people from all walks of life, and from age 17 to 70 which means every outing is different but always great fun. Above all, we are truly spoilt in having the most fabulous stretch of water in England to call our rowing home.”
Jade Thomson, a new member of Windermere Rowing Club from Ambleside, who completed her Learn to Row Course in 2015:
“It’s really great to get out on a lake, with a lovely bunch of people, all learning something new.”
Tom Costelloe, a new member of Windermere Rowing Club from Kendal, who completed his Learn to Row Course in 2015:
“I thought I would be terrible at rowing….And I was, at first! But with great training and support I now feel comfortable in numerous boat types and I have met a shed-load of lovely people in the process.”