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Lea Rowing Club’s Community and Supporters

Members of the local community engage with Lea Rowing Club as rowers, participants in events, spectators and users of our fantastic facilities. Our members also engage with numerous local groups to ensure the river and surrounding area are safe and pleasant for all. We are hugely grateful for the support of our funders, without whom our boathouse and facilities would not have been possible.

A community club

Community groups have long been part of the ‘family’ at the Club and we have had member groups regularly rowing from the Metropolitan Police, universities, London Transport, London hospitals and religious groups – some of whom still use the Club today. We are an open, friendly and diverse club and welcome everyone who wishes to row (subject to capacity). The Club and adjoining café provide a focal point for the local community, many of whom choose to have parties and weddings in the club rooms overlooking the river, and our club bar and is open to the public for Sunday lunches and live music events (for more information head over to Lea Rowing Club’s dedicated events website The Boathouse). Our Spring and Autumn regattas are highlights in the local calendar.

Access for young people

We have excellent relationships with local authorities, charities and other groups aiming to introduce young people to the sport of rowing. We work closely with schools in Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest. Schools interested in offering rowing to year 8–12 students can find out more on our Schools’ Rowing page.

Using our shared river and towpaths safely

The River Lea is one of the hidden gems of east London and a fantastic resource for the local community. Ensuring safety for everyone who uses the river, both on the water and the towpath, is crucially important to all of us. Information for canal boat users and rowers, to help keep everyone safe on the water, is available on our Navigation & Safety page. We also work closely with the Canal and River Trust (CaRT), British Rowing, All Party Parliamentary Group on Rowing, the boating community and local groups – such as Reclaim the Towpath and Hackney Police – to ensure the river and towpaths are safe for all. Contact information for our local police Safer Neighbourhoods Team can be found on our Navigation & Safety page.


Alongside CaRT, Hackney Marshes User Group, Pastic-Free Hackney and others, our members also participate in community activities such as weed-clearing and litter-picking to make the river and surrounding environment safe and pleasant for all.

Lea R.C. members help with River Lea clean-up organised by Plastic-Free Hackney (image courtesy of Hackney Marshes User Group)

Our supporters

Our success wouldn’t be possible ​without the help of our donors and supporters to whom we are truly grateful. Funding for our new Jimmy O’Neill boathouse, which opened in 2016, was supported by donor funding of £770,000, and a renewed lease from Hackney Council. Members and friends of the Club raised an additional £400,000 to support the site and its facilities. You can read more about the opening of our new boathouse on our News page. Our financial benefactors include:


Our supporters and friends, including many club members, have also funded many other aspects of the club, with contributions large and small over the years. We are grateful to them all. They include:

  • Youth Experience in Sport, run by former Lea R.C. president Tony Mallin, MBE, is the club’s biggest donor, and continues to help us with financial support and advice

  • The Colgan Foundation, run by Sean P. Colgan, supports junior rowing all over world, particularly those that wouldn't without help become involved in our sport.

Both YES and the Colgan Foundation have helped create the basis for our growing opportunities for junior rowers at Lea R.C.

  • The Jack Petchey Foundation has made numerous contributions to boats and equipment over the years.

  • The Rowing Foundation provided us with eight sets of sculling blades for our junior rowers in 2019.

  • Sportivate (a London Sport initiative) has funded the current junior coaches coaching programme, and make the main contribution for state schools to row at the club, and to funding schools with students with disabilities, and provided start-up funding for a Jewish Women’s group. The Satellite Club (another London Sport initiative) has also provided opportunities for young people to try out rowing.

  • British Rowing Eastern Region who have provided Level 2 coaching grants.

How can I support the Club?


The club is actively seeking sponsors and donors who can support us with new boats, indoor training equipment and improved facilities.


You can donate to the club via several routes:



Please contact the Captain or Secretary via our Contact page for more details.

gift-aid-logo orange.png

Gift Aid is a scheme that allows charities to reclaim tax on a donation made by a UK taxpayer, which means your donations will be worth 25% more to us at no extra cost to you. If you Gift Aid your donations we can claim back from the government 25p for every £1 you donate to the Lea R.C.


This additional income really does make a big difference, so please don't forget to Gift Aid donations if you are a UK tax payer.

Lea R.C. is a Charity – Registration number 1157563.

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