Lea Rowing Club and Fulham Reach Boat Club have joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rowing, the first clubs to become non-Parliamentary Members.
Both attended the first meeting of the Group, held yesterday evening (18 July) in a packed room in Parliament. The Group heard from British Rowing on the sport’s development plans, and discussion amongst Members focused on issues around coverage of rowing at Rio, access to water, and Community Amateur Sports Clubs.
Non-Parliamentary Associate Members are welcome to join the Group and take part in all ordinary meetings in Parliament, and will be invited to other events held in the Palace of Westminster, such as the Group’s annual Boat Race event.
The meeting was chaired by Hendon MP Matthew Offord, who opened by saying “as the first meeting of its kind, that was tremendous. Thank you for Lea and Fulham Reach for taking part as they did.
“With so many Parliamentary and non-Parliamentary members attending, the room was full. Our next will be in a different, larger, room to ensure we can accommodate people as the Group grows. All clubs, individuals and regattas are very welcome to join the Group and get involved and we are very grateful for their input about issues – and good news – in the sport. We are looking forward to future meetings and being able to support the sport even more.”
Steven O’Connor from Fulham Reach attended the meeting and gave his thoughts. “It is great for Fulham Reach to have been there at the start and at the first meeting of the Group. I think it’s very important for rowing to have a body like this in Westminster supporting the sport. I was impressed by the knowledge in the room and as a forum to bring people together with decision-makers, it will be invaluable.
Richard Ellis, Captain of Lea Rowing Club said “we were certainly very pleased to attend the first meeting of the Group and have the opportunity to take part and raise issues with Members of Parliament, Peers and British Rowing. It’s clear from the first meeting there are MPs and Peers passionate about sport and rowing in particular. We raised one of our major concerns about access to water in east London and the Group’s support will help us get even more people into rowing.”