Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake to Promote Talent at Caversham

12-11-01

The site of the new lake in the Thames Valley.
The site of the new lake in the Thames Valley.

Sport England today announced the development of a 2200 metre rowing lake in the Thames Valley as part of a network of elite training facilities for the English Institute of Sport.

The Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake, named by David Sherriff, Chairman of Thames and Kennet Marina Ltd after the legendary rowing partnership of Sir Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent CBE, will be built on the existing site of the Marina at Caversham Lakes.

The rowing lake will be 2200 metres by 100 metres to accommodate six wide-buoyed lanes. The development will also include facilities to monitor the boat/crew speed, a roadway for coaching and video crews, a boathouse –to be called “Sherriff’s Boathouse”-with crew and coaches rooms, physiotherapy/medical treatment areas, a video presentation suite, sports science labs, ergometer and weight training rooms and accommodation for boatmen and technicians. The boathouse facilities will cater for up to 100 athletes at any one time. Facilities will also be provided for Isis Water Ski Club and Reading Sailing Club on adjacent lakes, as well as the establishment of a local nature reserve on the site.

The project is being developed in association with the Amateur Rowing Association, the sport’s governing body and will be commissioned by Sport England and, once completed, managed by the ARA. The High Performance Coaching Team will be based at The Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake, which is a priority training site for the Thames Valley, “the centre of gravity for British rowing”.

An award from the Sport England Lottery Fund will finance the freehold purchase of the site from Thames and Kennet Marina Ltd and land from Lafarge Aggregates, pay part of the re-location of the marina which is currently on the site and develop the sporting and ancilliary facilities. Work on site is expected to begin early in the new year and the first 1000 metre section of the course will be ready for ARA use following winter training in 2002.

Sir Steve Redgrave, Honorary President of the Amateur Rowing Association, paid tribute to David Sherriff, the owner of the marina and the driving force behind the project; “David has invested an enormous amount of time and effort to create this facility for rowers to use to enhance their preparation for major championships. When you are heavily involved in rowing as I was you don’t often realise the efforts that are being made by individuals around you. I wish such a facility was available for myself. I will only be able to look and admire.”

This latest facility to be developed as part of the English Institute of Sport will complement the range of sports science, sports medicine and conditioning support services made available to the rowers as part of the EIS Services programme.

Steve Cram, Chairman of the EIS, said; “This project demonstrates our flexible approach to delivering the needs of the national governing bodies through a wide range of multi agency partnerships developed by Sport England. The course will make a major difference to the preparations of our World Class rowers and is a tribute to all the organisations and individuals who have managed to bring this scheme to fruition.”