Henley Royal Regatta: The adaptive rowing team prepares for the final day

  • By Galya Dimitrova
  • BBC News

image caption,

The Adaptive Team was ready to compete on the final day of the 2023 Royal Henley Regatta.

A rowing club has hailed greater inclusion in the sport as the Henley Regatta prepares for the adaptive team events on its final day.

The City of Oxford Rowing Club Adaptive Team will undertake a rowboat on the River Thames as part of the event hosted by Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.

The club has hundreds of members in men’s, women’s, junior and adaptive squads, from beginners to elite.

Club president Chris Platt said he had seen enrollment grow „hugely”.

„We were very focused on making Adaptive Squad a fully functioning part of the club and I’m happy to say they are now,” he said.

The Rowing Club is based on Donnington Bridge in Oxford on a stretch of the River Thames called Isis.

image source, James Finley

image caption,

Henley Royal Regatta is at the heart of the summer social and sporting calendar

It welcomes anyone with a physical, sensory or learning disability who wants to get involved in sport.

Adaptive Squad coordinator Rachel Lunney is second in the boat.

„I wanted to do something that I could do because I can’t do a lot of sports because of my disability,” he said.

„With rowing, I can do that.”

It is 25 years since the first adaptive rowing club was formed in Oxford.

’Many Opportunities’

But Henley Regatta has been welcoming disabled rowers for nearly 100 years.

Today, British Rowing, the governing body for both indoor rowing and open water rowing, generally, Boats required for adaptive sailing Varies according to the needs of the boater.

Amanda Thomas, volunteer coach of the Adaptive Team, is pleased to see more regattas offering adaptive races.

„It’s great when you look at the calendar at the start of the season and see so many opportunities to go out and play fair, fun matches,” he said.

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