Olympian Jess Eddie honoured by Durham ARC

Durham rowing Olympian, Jess Eddie, visited Durham Amateur Rowing Club (DARC) yesterday to launch the Jessica Eddie, a lightweight Eight named in her honour. 

Jess, who attended St.Leonard’s School in Durham and learned to row on the River Wear at age eight, joined DARC as a teenager before being picked for the GB squad when she was just 16. She has since rowed for Great Britain as a Junior, Under 23 and Senior rower, competing in the GB womens’ 8 in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. She most recently finished fourth in the 2013 World Championship.

The Jessica Eddie, will be used by the Club’s top junior and women’s squads and is the result of a year long fundraising campaign which included a ‘Pieces of Eight’ auction, music nights and a Sainsbury’s bag-pack .

Jess launched the boat by taking the stroke seat with the remaining seats taken by juniors and women from the club. Joking that she “normally sits at Bow side, but would make an exception in this case,” she said: “to have this boat with my name on it is an enormous privilege and I’m delighted to be able to launch her. I’m especially pleased that it will be used by the next generation of junior rowers, and I hope that they will enjoy their racing just as much as I have enjoyed mine”

Before the ceremony, Jess took the opportunity to present the club with the shirt that she wore when racing in the 2012 Olympics.

DARC President, Bill Parker, said: “Jess has been an inspiration to everyone in the club – young and old. We are very proud of everything that she has achieved and look forward to taking her name to regattas around the country. Our current junior squad has been performing extremely well, but needed a faster boat if they were to win at national level. We hope that Jessica will give us the winning edge for this coming season”

The launch was also attended by the Deputy Mayor of Durham, Councillor Jan Blakey, and senior members of the North East rowing community

Durham ARC is currently running Learn to Row courses for adults as part of County Durham Sport’s, ‘Move into Sport’ programme.

For more information about the club, visit www.durham-arc.org.uk.

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