Row, row your boats

PUBLISHED: 14:47 13 April 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

Isle of Ely Rowing Club president Martin Whitworth. 
Photos: RICHARD MARSHAM

Isle of Ely Rowing Club president Martin Whitworth. Photos: RICHARD MARSHAM

VISITORS flocked to Jubilee Gardens in Ely to celebrate Ely s association with one of the biggest days in the sporting calendar. The Boat Race Bash gave people the opportunity to see the annual Oxford and Cambridge confrontation screened on huge plasma s

Jonathan Littlewood, 12, tries his hand in the training boat.

VISITORS flocked to Jubilee Gardens in Ely to celebrate Ely's association with one of the biggest days in the sporting calendar.

The Boat Race Bash gave people the opportunity to see the annual Oxford and Cambridge confrontation screened on huge plasma screens provided by Hughes Audio in High Street. All proceeds go to The Isle of Ely Rowing Club's Recreational Rowing Scheme.

The event was opened by club president and member of the 1944 Cambridge Blues team, Martin Whitworth, who rowed against Oxford when the race was famously relocated to Ely.

Chairman of the club Derek Pickersgill said the event was a huge success, and thanked everyone for their contribution to a day that raised more than £1,800 for the recreational rowing scheme.

"We were very successful," he said.

"We were given £500 from the mayor's charity and he was there to present it himself."

Mr Pickersgill said the recreational scheme aims to involve every section of the community in the sport.

"Rowing is a low impact sport and it can have great health benefits," he said, adding that the club has already forged a strong link with the Oliver Zangwill Centre at the Princess of Wales Hospital, and hopes to develop links with local schools.

As well as a barbecue and a raffle, there was a sponsored "dry row", which saw people of all ages and abilities row the distance from Ely to Putney on a rowing machine. The team started in the early hours of the morning and finished ahead of schedule at 3pm.

INFO: For more information about The Isle of Ely Rowing Club's recreational scheme, visit www.isleofelyrowingclub.mysite.freeserve.uk

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