After being Vice Captain for 3 years I made the step up to Captain and wondered if it was the right decision to make, especially as you hear people refer to it as the poison challis, but I can honestly say it has been an honour to be Captain over the last 12 months; it hasn’t gone without a few issues but I have enjoyed it so much I have decided to do another year. A year seems a long time and this time last year I had a list of focus points that I wanted to achieve whilst being Captain and thought I had plenty of time in which to do so. They say time flies while you having fun! There are still things I wish to try and achieve and hope to do so over the coming year, with the continued support from the membership.
My main aim for the last 12 months was to make the club more welcoming to all members and make a more helpful and integrated environment for everyone. Every member is important to the club and every member should feel that they are. Communication to members was also a high priority and I would like to think I have achieved both of these points.
My rowing related focus points were to:
- Encourage crews to represent the club where realistically possible at national events.
Which we have done so by sending crews to the HoRR and Marlow for the senior men, WEHoRR for the senior women, Vet 4’s head, Vets HoRR, National Masters Championships, Henley Masters and World Masters for the Veterans and for the juniors The West Midlands Championship Head and The Inter Regional Regatta.
- And to encourage recreational/silver members to attend events specifically for them.
We have done so by a number of crews taking part in new West Midlands Explore League and racing at local primary regattas.
On to the wins for the last 12 months:
- We as a club have had 64 wins in total
- Juniors -6
- Seniors – 19
- 13 men, 5 women and 1 mixed.
- Vets – 39
- 18 men, 18 women, and 3 mixed.
Bewdley have had a good season in terms of numbers of wins at local regattas, we have seen the vet men’s squad consistently do well throughout the year and have seen some recreational members making the step up to full racing and then going on to represent the club at the World Masters Championships.
The performances that have stood out this season are the juniors who raced at senior level to win their novices which were the J16 boys 8, the J16 girls 4+ and Sam in the single.
The junior 16 girls who competed as a composite crew with Birmingham for the Inter Regional Regatta and brought home a bronze medal, this was a superb achievement considering they didn’t have long together as a crew.
The senior men’s 8 that went to the head of the river and had a great result in their category then went on to represent the club at Marlow, the crew then split down into small boats for the summer and the four then went on to win at a number of local regattas throughout the rest of the season.
These are all worthy of a mention but I think the most notable performance of the season comes from the vets section of the club, by way of the women’s vet C4+. Starting the season off with a win at the Vet 4’s head of the river something that Bewdley hasn’t won in a many number of years. The women continued to go from strength to strength by bringing home a silver medal at the National Masters Championships and also doubling up to take gold in the mixed vet C 8 event also. The main event of the season for them was Henley Masters in which they reached the final last year and were determined to go one better this year; and that they did. Another milestone for Bewdley as it’s been well over a decade since we last had a win at Henley Masters Regatta. Congratulations to everyone who won this year and let’s hope next year brings even more success.
Moving on to coaching
These wins would not be possible without coaching and thanks must go out to all coaches for their efforts over the last 12 months. The coaches who are members of the club do not get paid and give up a lot of time throughout the whole year for the benefit of the membership and help to make the club grow on success. We are lucky to have the coaches we have but as with any other club could always do with more; even if it’s members just willing to give up their time to help out our existing coaches.
Boats – We have bought a few boats this year to fill in gaps in the fleet these being 2x, 2- and 2 singles, the rowing committee have decided we try and stick to the buy new policy where possible and the boat replacement plan has now been agreed and will be published shortly.
Learn to Row
Rachel James has run 3 successful courses this year and we have gained 14 new full members who have gone into the novice squads. Like Pub and Club, learn to row is a source of new members and needs to continue to grow.
Pub and Club
This year we were down on numbers from the past couple of years, although it made it more manageable in terms of finding coxes and running the day itself. We ran it in a slightly different format, with the white stable boats and with live commentary which seemed to prove popular, so we will look to continue this next year. Pub and Club is our biggest source for gaining new members, as a club we need to be talking to potential members and encouraging them to join. I would like to say thank you to Mike, Dave and Tim who as always give up a lot of their time to make sure the event runs smoothly.
We had 18 wins in total over the weekend that came from all sectors of the club. The whole membership helped out on weekend which made the regatta a successful one – Pete will say more.
This was introduced this year and although it has provided the treasurer with a few headaches it has enabled the Subscription’s Secretary to produce an up to date database of all the club members without having to type up all the hand written copies like we have done in the past.
Fundraising and boat repairs
Everyone wants top boats to row in but as a club we don’t have thousands to spend year on year on equipment alone. We spend too much money each year on repairs, accidents happen but carelessness can be prevented. Our boats are old and tired but they would cost a lot of money to replace so we need to look after the ones we have.
For us to be able to purchase better standard of boats or replace blades that are worn we as a club need to think about doing some fundraising activities. So get your thinking caps on and let’s see what we as a whole can do.
The clubhouse continues to be under used, we need more events running and people to attend those events, and it is something we all need to think about pushing next year.
I’d like to thank the committees and their members for the hard work they have put in in making the club grow in the right direction and do what’s best for the members.
On to next year
My aims and ambitions I’ll be sending out but in a nutshell I’d like to continue to grow the membership of Bewdley Rowing Club, and integrate all the sections. I’d like to get the club competing as a whole at as many events as possible and also compete at the highest level. It would be wonderful to think we could have crews racing at all the National regattas and heads this coming year.
To finish off, I’d like to thank you the membership, as the general help from all members of the club whether it be on work weekends or helping each other out at regattas this year has been superb and has brought the club closer together. Without the membership the club would not exist, so thank you all for your support last year and hopefully next year we will continue to do the same. And last but by no means least I’d also like to thank Mike my Vice-Captain for supporting me and helping make decisions over the last 12 months and I’m glad to let you all know Mike has agreed to continue his role for the next year.