Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Sports Club of the Year 2013

We have won Sports Club of the Year in BANES Chairman's Sport Awards 2013!

Well done all, especially the volunteers who dedicate so much of their time to make the club such a success.

Below is the citation written by Sarah Moon to nominate the club.

Minerva Bath Rowing Club is a very special place indeed.  Like most small sports clubs we rely on the generosity and support of our members. We have recently had a surge in membership after the success of the Olympics last summer.  Our members are a mix of all ages and abilities.  Our Junior Squad continues to go from strength to strength with a dedicated coaching team of volunteers.  We have a long waiting list for this group and plans are underway to ensure that as many young people as possible can access our sport through Junior Learn To Row courses.  In addition to this we also have links with local schools including Hayesfield, Beechen Cliff, St Mary's and, more recently, Millfield. Every summer we run courses for Mentoring Plus, a youth crime prevention project which works with vulnerable young people in Bath.  There are many aims to this course including boosting the self-esteem and confidence of these young people.  This again is led by volunteers from the club. Our plan is to consolidate and extend all these links to allow more young people in the area to become involved with the club.  

The World Class Start programme (which identifies and develops potential future Olympians) also operates out of our club, one of only a handful of centers in the country - and we cherish and enjoy a very good relationship with them.  Bath University also use our facilities and we have a very friendly, reciprocal relationship with them too - often sharing boats, transport to races etc. Our Senior and Veteran squads are looking forward to a bright future with an action packed racing calendar already for 2013, including international head of the river races up on The Thames in March.  

We rely on our voluntary coaching team to encourage success and enjoyment.  We also have two ex-Olympians in our squad who continue to inspire us all. We welcome people of all ages, ability and commitment at the club. Ranging from those who are training for national events to others who enjoy a social row with friends on the weekend. Squad captains are dedicated to ensuring all members feel part of the team. We run regular Learn To Row courses to give people with no experience an introduction to our sport - we have a very good retention rate as many sign up as members after the course has finished.  

As the City of Bath is twinned with Alkmaar in Holland, so are our two rowing clubs. Every year both clubs host each other in what has become a very special tradition for both clubs.  Minerva Bath members visit Holland every April for the AA race and our friends from Alkmaar come over to the UK in October to race on the River Avon. Each visit encourages the involvement of all members of both clubs.  I went over to Alkmaar last April and was overwhelmed by the generous hospitality we received.  This year we celebrated the 25th anniversary of this twinning and the relationship is stronger than ever.  The club has a rich history in our city - it was originally founded as Bath Ladies Boat Club in 1914 (one of the earliest women's rowing clubs in England) later merging with the City of Bath Rowing Club.  I feel very proud to be a member of Minerva Bath RC.

Minerva Bath is more than just a rowing club. It is a family. It relies on the dedication and passion of its members. If won, the Award would be dedicated to all members (past and present) who have helped to make this club such a special part of our lives.

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