Eastbourne Rowing club have been awarded a grant of £8,718 from Sport England as they seek to attract a young, vibrant membership to the club.
The award comes after fund-raiser Fiona Fahy made an application when it became apparent that prospective new members were being put off by the deteriorating facilities at their base on Eastbourne’s seafront.
As well as improving facilities, the money will be used to buy a new boat trailer, allowing club members to travel to regattas, as well as new kits, mats, boat racks and publicity flyers to attract new members.
Club Chairman Bob Noakes, has previously expressed his concerns about the future of the sport, and recent years have seen the demise of fellow clubs in Brighton and Hastings.
He thinks this grant will be massive for a club who seemed to have bucked that trend somewhat, something echoed by his club captain Matt Whitehead.
“Getting the grant is huge for the rowing club,” he said.
“We aren’t a big club but we have been exponentially growing for the past 10 years.
“Getting the grant means we can spend money on utilising the small space that we do have.”
Most of the money will be concentrated on attracting younger members to the club.
The club have told Sport England they are targeting increase of 20 % in junior membership which they’ll report on in April 2015. Ladies captain Rosie Pugh says the grant will go a long way to helping that.
“It will remove pressure on the senior members and enable them to focus more time on training and coaching junior members,” she said.