Captain's Log Featuring Isle of Ely Rowing Club's Jo Cotgrove

PUBLISHED: 15:08 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 May 2010

Jo Cotgrove

Jo Cotgrove

Captain s Log featuring Isle of Ely Rowing Club s Jo Cotgrove SINCE its foundation in 2003, the Isle of Ely Rowing Club has seen rapid growth and enthusiastic support from local people and businesses. Last year saw the club host its first ever Head of t

Captain's Log featuring Isle of Ely Rowing Club's Jo Cotgrove

SINCE its foundation in 2003, the Isle of Ely Rowing Club has seen rapid growth and enthusiastic support from local people and businesses. Last year saw the club host its first ever Head of the River Race, under the auspices of the Amateur Rowing Association (ARA). As captain I have been involved in negotiations to make this Head race an annual flagship event in our rowing calendar and I'm pleased to announce that this year the date of the Head has been confirmed for 1st November.

The Rowing Club has developed links with local schools and with parents of junior members and is keen to strengthen its ties with the local community.

Our Vice-Chairman Vicky Parry has recently been appointed Coaching Chairman for the Eastern Region Rowing Council and our Junior Coach Victor Bridges was awarded the 'Service to Sport' award by the Ely Standard. Teresa Aslett has been running our first 'Learn to Row' eight week course on Saturday mornings and this has been hugely successful.

I've been very impressed with the determination of the people who have come to the club to try out rowing for the first time. We aim to offer another course in the summer and have already received applications.

During 2009 I am looking to organise informal club-based race events to encourage more members to gain racing experience. I want to offer a range of races for all members, at all levels, encouraging novices and juniors to take to the water.

For those at a more advanced level I enter our members in ARA competitive events all around the Eastern Region including Heads and Regattas at St. Neots, Peterborough, Bedford and Sudbury.

The Club is based in two old shipping containers on land kindly made available to us by Hydro International in Kiln Lane. Our committee, under the leadership of Chairman Derek Pickersgill, is working towards establishing the club in more permanent premises.

It is hoped that in conjunction with the Ely Country Park proposals that the club may be able to build a proper boathouse and provide much-needed facilities for our ever-growing number of keen members.

Given the manifest demand for recreational rowing in Ely, we are seeking support from local authorities and businesses to help us establish a clubhouse that is so clearly deserved and badly needed.

We have huge commitment and great enthusiasm from local people and club members and I'm proud that the Isle of Ely Club, from such humble beginnings, is beginning to make a real contribution to sporting life in Ely. I'm sure 2009 will be another year of growth and success.

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