Lord Rosser visits Oundle Town RC

Lord Rosser at Oundle Town

Lord Rosser, who is linked to the ARA through Sport England’s Parliamentary Sports Fellowship Scheme, visited Oundle Town Rowing Club on Wednesday 15th July.  Oundle Town was selected by the ARA because of its rapid development in the past eight years having been set up in 2001 as a result of the National Junior Rowing Programme and particularly Project Oarsome.

The Club was the brainchild of Alan McMurdo, then the Headteacher of Prince William School, a Community Comprehensive School based in Oundle that serves a large rural catchment area of over 400 square miles.  Project Oarsome required an established rowing club to partner the school but one could not be found locally so the decision was made to establish OTRC as an all inclusive community rowing club.

The Club started with a trailer, six boats and a safety launch which were parked on the side of a fishing lake at Lilford Lodge Farm in Barnwell and had an initial membership of a dozen adults and fifteen juniors (most related to the adults).  The membership has increased beyond expectation and now stands at forty three adult members and forty five junior members.

Lord Rosser’s visit was to look at the facilities which were built in 2007 with a grant from the CCPD that bought the boat house and jetty, built on land belonging to the Barnwell Estate with access to the river through Lilford Lodge Farm, owned by Mr Dolf Dijksterhuis.  He spent the afternoon talking to club members about funding issues and support from Sport England and the County Sposts Partnership.  He also took to the water to watch a coaching session of juniors and adults on the river.  

Lord Rosser was very interested in getting the views of the junior membership as well as looking at the proposed developments of a nearby marina and future plans for the development of the OTRC site.  He spent over two hours at the club escorted by Celia Hetherington, ARA Coaching and Development Team Manager.  He very kindly performed a boat naming ceremony in honour of Nathalie Phillips the club’s retiring Henley Stewards’ Charitable Trust Scholarship Coach. He went away saying he was very impressed with the friendliness and enthusiasm of the club members and the progress made by the club in such a short time and wished OTRC well in the future development of the club.    

Report from Oundle Town Rowing Club

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