Tewkesbury Rowers Inspired By Olympic Hero
31 October 2012
Olympic Rower, Zac Purchase, returned to his home town recently to help officially launch the all-new Costain backed Tewkesbury Rowing Club.
Tewkesbury School pupils and staff celebrated the launch of their first boats following a mammoth fund-raising effort, led by an initial donation of £4,000 from Costain.
Costain was approached while constructing the flood defence barriers at the Mythe Water Treatment Works. After hearing from the young people of the devastating effects on their homes of the 2007 floods, the Company wanted to help re-connect the youth of the town back to the river in a fun and positive way.
Programme Manager, Simon Roberts, said: “We are really delighted to see that the club’s fundraising efforts have delivered these wonderful boats. We are sure that the pupils and staff will really enjoy them and wish the club every success for the future.”
Head of rowing at the school, Charlie Gardiner, hosted the event which was attended by various civic dignitaries.
He said that 80 youngsters had already taken part in club activities, many of whom had been inspired by Zac’s Olympic efforts.
The club currently has a squad of 25 members, but with inquiries pouring in the pressure is on to increase resources. New money has been awarded to the club by the NHS, Severn Vale Housing Association and Active Gloucestershire to help it grow.
Charlie said: “With this money, we have been able to employ a professional head coach for this year who trained juniors at Gloucester and went on to become Olympians. We also plan to purchase more equipment, including coaching launches and more racing boats to cope with the growth of the club.”