Sad news of the death of Jon Beagley

Weybridge Rowing Club is very sad to report that its larger than life Junior Coach Jon Beagley passed away on 10th August at his home in Addlestone, Surrey. He had been diagnosed only about a month earlier with a brain tumour and had just started a course of treatment.

Jon’s early exposure to sport at Wellington College gave him a particular taste for cricket which he went on to coach locally. His son started rowing and Jon would spend time watching and assimilating the basics and became proficient in the art of coaching, eventually forsaking leather and willow for the carbon fibre of competitive rowing.

His dedication to Weybridge Juniors was immense and rain or shine he was to be found in his distinctive ‘outrageous’ knee-length shorts coaching along the towpath at Walton.  He tried using a launch but his bulk and a small engine were somewhat mismatched so he ended up cycling tens of kilometres a week in pursuit of his dream to give his crews the opportunity to shine. Hundreds of young rowers owe their introduction to the sport to ‘Big Jon’.

2013 has been a remarkable year for Weybridge Rowing Club with wins at Henley Ladies Regatta and the first appearance for years at Henley Royal Regatta, medals at National Schools and other high profile events, and two GB representations as well as over 40 wins at local events. It is of some comfort to his colleagues that Jon was able to witness these successes. That he laid the groundwork for them is beyond doubt and members of the Club – Junior, Senior and Veteran – have all been touched by his boundless enthusiasm, coaching advice and genial nature, particularly in the bar after training.

The Club mourns the loss of a good friend, and sends sincere condolences to his wife Julia, daughter Anna and son Matt (who also coaches at Weybridge).

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