New Community Whitlingham Boathouses
Building has commenced on the first stage of the new ’state of the art’ Whitlingham Boathouses which will cost over £1,000,000 to build. The new community boathouses represent a major step forward for recreational and competitive rowing and canoeing in the Norfolk and Norwich area.
‘The response to our appeal for funds from both local and national sources has been incredible’ said Max Heron, Whitlingham Boathouses Project Leader. ‘The community in Norfolk will have a facility that can cater for competitive sportsmen and women from novice to elite and international as well as people who simply want to enjoy recreational sports. We will be increasing the numbers of people playing sport, both abled and disabled, of all ages, considerably over the next few years.’
The new Whitlingham Boathouses is a combined venture by Norwich Rowing Club, Norwich Canoe Club, University of East Anglia Boat Club, Norwich School Boat Club and Norwich High School Rowing Club. ‘We have been able to raise nearly £750,000 over the past year’ said Max Heron ‘thanks to the support of British Rowing in partnership with Sport England who have just awarded a grant of £200,000 along with generous donations and contributions from local trusts, charities, companies and club members. ‘
The new boathouses are very much in line with Sport England’s targets by 2012/13 of getting 1 million more people doing sport, achieving a reduction of 25% in the number of 16-18 year olds who drop out of sport, improving talent development and a major contribution to the delivery of the 5 hour sports offer for children and young people.
Whitlingham Boathouse already has links into 25 local schools through Active Norfolk’s Indoor Rowing scheme and is building partnerships with other local user groups across the community.
Phase 1 of the new boathouse will be finished in early Spring 2011. ‘It sets new standards and represents a new development that involves rowing and canoeing clubs, the University and two schools all under one roof.