Rowers celebrate new £ 670,000 boathouse on River Cam
A new £ 670,000 boathouse for Cambridge rowers has officially opened – with over 100 guests in attendance for the celebration.
The new Cambridgeshire Rowing Association (CRA) and Camrowers Boathouse are located at the Combined Colleges Boathouse site on Logan’s Way.
It was inaugurated on Friday July 28 by Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner and Annamarie Phelps CBE, president of British Rowing.
About 150 guests, all of whom took part in the project, attended the celebration.
There was also an argument with some of Camrower’s oldest rowers, with coxswain Colin Fox, 75, accompanied by rowers John Clarke, 82, Leonie Welch, 84, Mal Schofield, 82 and Marshall Patten, 80 years.
There was also a cake to celebrate the occasion, which was cut by Simon and Kate Merrington, vice-captain and secretary of Camrowers.
The boathouse project marked a first for Camrowers, a unique non-competitive rowing club for the elderly and disabled.
Its 90 members are mostly 60, 70 and 80 years old, and most have learned to row with the club.
“We’ve never had our own house,” said President Paul Ray, “and having a specially designed boathouse is a dream come true.
“Over time, we plan to welcome more new members and offer more rowing sessions.
“The members themselves have raised over £ 100,000 for the project and we owe them and all of our funders a very big thank you.”
Cambridgeshire Rowing Association chairman Bill Key said the original RCAF boathouse had been oversubscribed for years and they had long been looking for a site for a second boathouse.
He added, “We are delighted to have partnered with Camrowers to build on the newest site available on Cam.
“This was the last chance for a brand new boathouse in Cambridge and we are indebted for the support of the Combined Colleges and Cambridge City Council, which owns the site.
“This means the CRA can provide more facilities for our affiliated clubs, especially those who have nowhere to store their boats.”
Much of the funding, £ 250,000, came from Cambridge City Council’s Section 106 fund.
There was also £ 75,000 from the Sport England Inspired Facilities Lottery Fund and other grants from the Amey Community Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
The £ 670,000 building was designed by architects Saunders Boston and constructed by contractors Millcam.
Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner welcomed the new boathouse as a real contribution to helping Cambridge residents stay fit and healthy.
“Exercise is so important to all of us – the more we all exercise, the healthier we are,” he said.
“This project is a great example of people working together to improve access to exercise and it will allow many more people to enjoy rowing on the Cam.”