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In the ‘wake’ of the Boat Race, get into rowing!

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Image captionImage 1: Young people learning to row on the Thames (stock photo)

Hammersmith & Fulham was home to the biggest event of the rowing calendar last Sunday (3 April) – the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race – and there’s still time to join in the fun.

The borough has four boat clubs who regularly row on the famous stretch of water: Fulham Reach Boat Club, Auriol Kensington Rowing Club, Furnivall Sculling Club and Sons of the Thames.

Each club has opportunities for beginners and experienced rowers to join their ranks.

Fulham Reach Boat Club

The Fulham Reach Boat Club (FRBC), established close to Hammersmith Bridge in 2014, has members aged 13-80 years old, and is a charity and community club open to all.

“As a club, our motto is Rowing for All. We really do try and reflect that in what we do”, said Steven O’Connor, Chief Executive of Fulham Reach Boat Club.

The club began with the goal of providing local state schools, who wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity, with access to the Thames.

Since opening, FRBC has worked with all 12 of H&F’s state secondary schools, and several from Kensington and Chelsea – giving 1,300 students the chance to get out on the water.

“We think that’s a first in the UK: to have every state school in one local authority out rowing,” said Steven.

The charity club works to support residents who otherwise wouldn’t have ever learnt to row.

Supported by the Gemini Boat Race bursary, FRBC hosts free ‘Learn to Row’ courses and funds 36 British Rowing memberships each year. The club also provides three meals a day during the Easter and summer holidays to disadvantaged children to tackle the issue of holiday hunger.

The club works with the prison services, offering indoor rowing clubs to improve physical and mental wellbeing and reduce reoffending rates.

This year, the FRBC sold 120 tickets to members and supporters to watch the Boat Race. All the profits from the event support its charitable work.

To sign up for FRBC’s Junior Easter ‘Learn to Row’ course, visit the club’s website.

If you are interested in learning to row at an inclusive club in our borough, visit the Fulham Reach Boat Club website for more details.

Hammersmith & Fulham and Fulham Reach Boat Club have partnered previously for the London Youth Games – FRBC entered competitors in the indoor rowing. To learn more about the London Youth Games, visit our page.

Visit the H&F sport page for more information about our local leisure centres and sports facilities which also includes information on concessionary rates for H&F residents.

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