Pleasureland CEO steps in to save Southport RC
One of the architects of the renaissance of Liverpool’s ‘playground’, Southport, has stepped in to save a long-established community rowing club.
Pleasureland CEO Norman Wallis met with Southport RC after learning the organisation had been left homeless and with nowhere to safely store its boats.
“If it wasn’t for Norman Wallis, we wouldn’t be rowing now.”
Mr Wallis was quick to offer secure storage rather than see an important sport and leisure amenity defeated. He went further and offered the space as a goodwill gesture. He said: “The club is an asset for the town and there is growing interest in expanding its remit – giving young people the opportunity to learn and enjoy a unique and rewarding skill. The park was happy to help.”
Club chairman, Andy O’Shea, said: “If it wasn’t for Norman Wallis, we wouldn’t be rowing now and we wouldn’t have a club. He was kind enough to waive any fee, so instead members contribute to make donations to the charities he supports.
“Southport Rowing Club is more that 60 years old and the men and women who row there have been based at the Marine Lake for the last 40.”
With support from Alan Meegan from the British Rowing Facilities Service, the Southport body is still searching for somewhere to serve as a permanent clubhouse with storage.
Mr O’Shea and other club committee members have met with a number of interested educational organisations who would like to add rowing to their curriculum. Club representatives have also met with Sefton Council and the town’s MP.
He added: “We were hoping Sefton Council, which owns all land around the lake and manages leases, would consider supporting this popular club, which is attracting growing interest, by making long-term space available – and ensure its future.”