The 2016 Parliamentary charity boat race took place yesterday (Wednesday 14 September) in front of the Houses of Parliament, raising £10,000 for charity.
Supported by the ISPS, the regatta-style event welcomed youth, women and men’s crews who rowed from Lambeth Bridge to the House of Lords, and showcased a display of young athletes on rowing machines adapted to those with special needs.
Culminating in a race between the two Houses, MPs versus Lords, the House of Commons took the spoils and lifted the newly-named Robin Hulf Memorial Cup to extend their lead to six victories to four.
An auction took place throughout the event to raise funds for London Youth Rowing, The Company of Watermen and Lightermen, and the Matt Hampson Foundation. After the auction, ISPS announced they would ensure the total charity fund reached £10,000.
Speaking after the race the House of Commons Captain, Hendon MP Dr Matthew Offord, said “it was another fantastic event. I’d like to thank all the Commons crew and the Members of the House of Lords for the race and all those who made it such a special day. I would also like to pay special thanks to ISPS as our principal supporter for their generosity and enabling the day to take place and helping us to raise so much money for charity.”
Lord Thomas of Gresford captained the Lords boat in his 10th race and gave his thoughts: “the Parliamentary Boat Race has become part of the fabric of this place, and I want to pay tribute to my Parliamentary colleagues for their commitment to training and racing. It isn’t an easy stretch of water; it is busy and there is plenty to watch out for. I would like to thank the marshalls, organisers and all involved for their hard work. I would like to thank non-Parliamentary Members of the Rowing Group and rowing fans for their attendance and their money raising, and of course our longstanding supporter ISPS for enabling the whole race to take place.”
ISPS were represented by International Executive Director Midori Miyazaki who presented medals to both crews, and the cup to the winners. She spoke of the role of sport and rowing in bringing people together, saying it “has a unique ability to create hope, to break down educational and cultural barriers and to inspire people in a way very little else does. Sport brings people together and unites communities around the world. We are proud to be associated with the Parliamentary Boat Race and its aims of supporting rowing wherever possible.”