Sir Steve Redgrave, five times Olympic gold medalist, officially opened the new Lea Rowing Club boathouse in East London on Saturday 10 September. The opening coincided with the Paralympic Rowing Regatta in Rio.
Donor funding of £770,000 – plus more than £400,000 from members and friends of the Club – has allowed the boathouse to double in capacity, and will support an increase in its membership up to 600 over the next five years. This new facility includes a boathouse for junior and recreational rowers. It will also see the Club launch an ‘adaptive rowing’ programme for people with disabilities, one of only four London clubs offering such a service.
Sir Steve, who rowed at a Lea Regatta as a boy, said: “It is great to see grassroots sport thriving at the Lea Rowing Club and I am delighted to be opening the new Jimmy O’Neill* Boathouse. This will particularly help support the junior rowing section of the club, something very close to Jimmy’s heart, having been responsible for coaching so many aspiring young Lea rowers over the years.
“I fully expect to see even more Lea crews out on the water and racing at regattas all over the country, representing Hackney and East London in their distinctive bright orange kit.”
Read more about the opening of Lea Rowing Club’s new boathouse in the Hackney Citizen.