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15 Jun 2014

Deputy Mayor Diaries: Reading Amateur Regatta

My watery weekend was rounded off with a fascinating trip to Reading Amateur Regatta on Thameside Promenade.

I saw a range of races on the water but what was most interesting was the fact people come from far and wide to take part.  I met a team from the USA who attend Reading Amateur Regatta ahead of Henley's womens regatta next week.  How many people know we are hosting a truly international regatta in Reading?

It was great to hear the club is growing with people joining from throughout Reading.  They are growing as fast as they can but, as with many organisations, need more adult volunteers to help with the hundreds of youngsters who want to get rowing and sculling.

My hosts were packed full of information and made my visit a joy.  They were Nigel Smith, President of Reading Amateur Regatta, Peter Oldfirld Trustee of Reading Rowing Club, Andrew Wilby, Chair of Reading Amateur Regatta and Jane Parker, Honorary Secretary.

We talked about how the wet weather over winter meant they were unable to get back onto the river until March this year.  We also discussed how they were getting local people involved in the club.  I was pleasently surprised to hear membership of Reading Rowing Club is cheaper than the gym, dispelling some myths about rowing.  I can tell you I'd prefer rowing to the gym!

The afternoon ended when I presented some junior medals and the Radley Cup. This cup is presented to the most successful team at the mini regatta (13 and under).  This year the joint winners were Henley Rowing Club and City of Bristol Rowing Club.

Many thanks to everyone for making the afternoon enjoyable and interesting!

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