Windermere RC celebrates fabulous new facilities in the Lake District

Established in 2015, Windermere RC is flourishing and now its 80 members can enjoy a brand new multi-sport boathouse


Windermere RC's new boathouse

Just three years ago, newly formed Windermere RC in the Lake District had to store their two quads in a muddy field and their blades in a borrowed horse box. But now the club enjoys some of the best rowing facilities as part of the ‘Active Base’, a brand new development jointly funded by the National Trust and Sport England. The club rows on picturesque Lake Windermere and the River Leven in the southern part of Cumbria’s Lake District.

Club Chairman David Oates said, “We, at Windermere RC, can’t believe our good fortune, having grown from nothing a little over two years ago to a thriving club with 80 enthusiastic members. We have an ever growing fleet of boats, some of the best water on which to row and now a fabulous new £1.9 million club and boathouse facility.”

The Active Base consists of a magnificent clubhouse with changing rooms, together with storage for the club’s growing fleet of boats. The rowers share the multi-sport facility with South Windermere Sailing Club and other activities also include yoga classes, Nordic walking, canoeing and open water swimming.

It’s all a huge leap for a club that didn’t even exist three years ago. In 2014 Lakeland RC, based in the north of Cumbria, saw an opportunity to bring rowing to the south of the county. Club member Fiona Marley Paterson organised an intensive programme of learn-to-row courses, made possible thanks to equipment grants from Sport England and a local charitable trust. A nomadic existence around various marinas on Windermere ended when the National Trust offered the new rowers – now Windermere RC – a home at Fell Foot Park at the southern tip of the lake.

We, at Windermere RC, can’t believe our good fortune, having grown from nothing a little over two years ago to a thriving club with 80 enthusiastic members

Seventy of the club’s current 80 members came through the club’s learn-to-row programme, encouraged by the club’s strong ethos of inclusivity and determination to welcome everyone and cater for all levels.

Windermere rowers are starting to make their mark on the regional competitive rowing scene thanks to a strong development programme for athletes who are keen to race. But equally, many members just enjoy taking a little exercise afloat on their beautiful lake. The inaugural 21-mile ‘Tour of Windermere’ last July was deemed a tremendous success and more local clubs have been invited to join in this year.

Oates said, “The much anticipated completion of the Active Base moves our club into a new era. Now, we not only have some of the best rowing water in the country, but also a clubhouse facility to match. This is testament to the vision of our founders, an extraordinarily innovative project led by the National Trust and to the hard work of our committee.

“I know that our enthusiastic membership will make the most of this opportunity to build something truly extraordinary which future generations of rowers will continue to cherish.”

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