�1m campaign for water sports centre
Peter WalshWater sport enthusiasts have been urged to help raise money towards funding a �1m community boathouses project at Trowse, near Norwich, which will provide a leisure boost for all ahead of the 2012 Olympics.Peter Walsh
Water sport enthusiasts have been urged to help raise money towards funding a �1m community boathouses project at Trowse, near Norwich, which will provide a leisure boost for all ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
Whitlingham Boathouses are launching the public appeal to raise money for the new �1m community boathouses on the River Yare at Trowse on Saturday.
The project, which involves Norwich Rowing Club, Norwich Canoe Club, UEA Boat Club, Norwich High School Rowing Club and Norwich School Boat Club, will signal a major step forward for sport and leisure for the whole community.
Max Heron, chairman of Whitlingham Boathouses, said: 'The Whitlingham Boathouses project offers a fantastic opportunity for men and women from 10 to 80 to enjoy water sports in their new community facility.
'Within the clubs we have world and national champions and internationals as well as people who have just learnt to row or canoe on one of our courses.'
Planning permission has been granted for the new state-of-the-art boathouses, with improved facilities for education, training as well as socialising, and plans are well under way for completion in Spring 2011.
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Mr Heron said Whitlingham Boathouses have already secured �400,000 in gifts and pledges the group still needs to find �600, 000 to make the dream a reality.
He said: 'Unfortunately, new buildings like this do not come cheap. This launch is the start of our drive to secure the balance to allow our building plan to commence later this summer.'
The new boathouses, which will provide improved surroundings for the clubs involved in the project and their 400 or so members, will offer excellent opportunities for both able-bodied and disabled sports men and women.
The site has also been listed as a training venue for triathlon and canoeing for the 2012 Olympics.
Natasha Howard, GB Women's Rowing 8 and World Bronze Medallist, who is also a joint patron of the project, said: 'This is a fantastic project which will give people all over Norwich and Norfolk the opportunity to take part in rowing and canoeing. I am honoured to be Joint Patron and I hope you will all join me in supporting it.'
Helene Raynsford, 2008 Paralympics Rowing Gold medallist, said: 'This will create new opportunities for the development of adaptive rowing and canoeing for the community in Norfolk. I hope that others will enjoy these activities as much as I have.'
Other people supporting the project include vice patrons Richard Jewson Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk and chairman of Archant, which publishes the Evening News, The Bishop of Norwich the Rt Rev Graham James, and Emma Pooley, Beijing Olympic Silver Medallist Cycling Time Trial.
The launch takes place at the clubhouse in Whitlingham Lane, Trowse, at 11am on Saturday.
For more information or to find out how to help with the appeal email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01328 701124.
Are you launching a new community project in Norwich? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email email@example.com