Boat Race grant will boost rowing at Ely College

Ely College rowers - one of five recipients of Gemini Boat Race bursary

Ely College rowers - one of five recipients of Gemini Boat Race bursary - Credit: Ely College

Ely College is one of five projects selected as recipients of The Gemini Boat Race Bursary Fund.  

Jason Coe, PE and sports curriculum leader at Ely College commented: “We are delighted to have received a grant from Gemini in partnership with The Boat Race.  

“It will allow us to build a strong and sustainable programme of rowing within the college.” 

Mr Coe said rowing provision in the last two years has grown tremendously with over 200 students having taster sessions, and many going on to join the local club.  

“We envisage with the support of this grant that Ely College students will be able to develop their experiences and go on to represent the college in both local and national competition in years to come.” 

He added: “Look out for us on our beautiful local rivers.” 

The college says that “believing in the transformative potentials of sport” it can now look forward to building further on its local partnerships and using the profile of the world-famous Boat Race to inspire our young people. 

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Applications for the fund, which opened in June, were received from all over the UK from a wide range of clubs and organisations focused on making a difference to the lives of young people.  

Ely College joins Brixton Wings, Behind Every Kick, Firhill Youth Project and Warrington Youth Rowing; recipients hope to use the funds to support and engage with young people after lockdown or enable existing programmes to expand.  

The judging panel said they were impressed by the dedication and commitment of the volunteers, coaches and youth workers involved in all the projects. 

Located near to Cambridge University Ely Boathouse, Ely College, has in recent years partnered with Isle of Ely Rowing Club to offer rowing taster sessions to over 200 students.   

The Gemini Boat Race Bursary award will give more students the opportunity to take part in an activity previously perceived as financially, physically or even mentally inaccessible.  

Students will have the opportunity to showcase their evolving teamwork and physical skills in local and national competitions, both on the water or as part of indoor Ergo teams.   

A spokesperson for the bursary fund said that well-established Ely College partnership with Isle of Ely Rowing Club, has meant rowing has never been more popular. 

“The support from Gemini will allow for the continuation of summer and Easter taster sessions to ensure the maximum number of students will have any barrier removed, allowing them to taking part in regular rowing sessions.”