Safety first at Newport RC

A matched-funding grant from the national charity RALPHH has enabled the Isle of Wight’s oldest rowing club to install weatherproof defibrillation equipment on to the exterior of its clubhouse


Junior rower Boris Hare, cox Marianna Hare, masters rower Chris Clarke, and Newport Rowing Club Chair Julie Clarke, who was responsible for co-ordinating the bid to RALPHH.

Newport RC, founded in 1863, is a successful river-based coastal club at Hurstake Riverway, Newport and draws upon membership of a wide variety of ages. The picturesque location is also favoured by walkers and the many visitors to the island, so the installation of the new equipment is seen as doubly important.

The charity RALPHH helps many sporting clubs have access of defibrillation equipment with a special emphasis on rowing. Working with British Rowing, RALPHH has assisted clubs across the country to have suitable potential life-saving provision, as well as sponsoring an ECG and sonic testing programme for those young people on the cusp of being selected to represent the country at international level. The charity takes its name from the late Robert Allen, who was both a National Schools rowing champion and a respected coach prior to his sudden death from a heart attack in August 2018.

“We are delighted to have this first link with a sporting club on the Isle of Wight,” said RALPHH Chairman, Richard Allen. “In the last year we have been able to at least part-fund defibrillators in 13 locations across England, with six of these being rowing clubs.”

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