Tamar Rowability getting more people into rowing

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Tamar RowAbility provides accessible, inclusive rowing for all – based at Upper Tamar Lake near Holsworthy. The project has been run in partnership between Boscastle & Crackington Gig Club, Cornwall Sports Partnership & British Rowing, supported by South West Lakes Trust.

Take rowing to them: The project involved creation of a ‘land based training gig’ (the middle section of a gig – seats 3, 4 and 5) which was trailered to events to give people a taste of rowing. This was then positioned on the river bank at Tamar Lake to teach people the basics before they ventured on to the water. We are grateful to the West Regional Rowing Council for a grant to help purchase this equipment.

Removing barriers: By using the land based gig first, this gave participants familiarity with the gig and confidence before taking to the water, it also helped to plan the best methods for getting in and out of the boat.


Promotional events – the training gig was taken to Cornwall College, Plymouth Blue Light Day and Cornwall Blue Light Day.

Water sessions – 89 different rowers with a variety of disabilities took to the water over 9 sessions, totalling 134 visits. Some of these went on to visit their local club and even join up as members.

Groups – Groups from the following locations took part: Liskeard & Launceston Day Centres, Duchy College, Barncoose Amputee Group and the Jacobstow Care Home as well as a few individuals off their own steam.

Volunteers – Nick Holmes led the project, supported by a brilliant group of volunteers from Boscastle & Crackington Gig Club. More recently volunteers have joined us from neighbouring clubs, even from as far afield as Clevedon!

Great News! The project was shortlisted for ‘participation project of the year’ at the Cornwall Sports Awards on the 4th November, it reached the final 3 – well done Nick & team!

What’s next? We are hoping to run some water sessions for Cornwall College students over the winter at Tamar Lake. We will then start up regular Tamar RowAbility sessions from April – October 2017.

How can I get involved?

  • Would you like to take part? Please get in touch with us to arrange a session
  • We are always looking for new volunteers – RowAbility day is a Thursday, sessions normally run 11-2pm
  • We are looking to support other locations to run their own RowAbility projects – there are groups who would love to row, but can’t make the trip up to Tamar Lake – could your club offer this? Plans are already afoot to set up sessions based on the Tamar model in Bristol and we have clients waiting for sessions to be set up in West Cornwall!
  • Contact:

Nick Holmes  – [email protected]

Rhiannon Bailey – [email protected]

Steve Hillman – [email protected]

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