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Thursday
Nov012012

LRC Olympic Reception

Over 90 members and their guests crowded into the Clubhouse on the evening of Wednesday 24 October for the Club's Olympic Reception.  This was a special event, to recognise the achievements of our 2012 Olympic athletes as well as the many Club members who made the Olympic Regatta so successful.

Our principal guests included Mrs Di Ellis CBE the Chairman of British Rowing, David Tanner British Rowing's Performance Director and International Manager, and international coaches Robin Williams and Nick Strange.  We were delighted to welcome Richard Tracey, our local London Assembly Member (and President of Kingston Regatta) and also the Deputy Mayoress of Wandsworth.

Highlights of the evening were brief presentations given by our principal Olympic representatives, introduced by our own President and FISA Treasurer Mike Williams.  Paul Reedy, coach of the gold-winning Women's Lightweight Double Scull of Sophie Hosking and Kat Copeland, led the way.  Accompanied by film clips of their races which they talked us through, he was followed by Bill Lucas (5th in the Men's Double Scull final with Sam Townsend), Phelan Hill (cox of the Men's Eight which won bronze), and Rob Williams (silver medallist in the Lightweight Men's Four).  All spoke of their strong affection for LRC and the part the Club had played bringing them towards their international success.

To her surprise, our gold-medallist Sophie Hosking was 'introduced' by her father.  David Hosking has been a member of LRC for over 30 years and won a gold medal in the Lightweight Eight at the World Championships in 1980.  Evidently, her father's achievement had inspired Sophie to seek to emulate it, which she did in style at this year's Olympics.  Sophie spoke movingly about her regatta, about how when it started she had never felt in better shape, and about how her and her partner's meticulous race plans had fallen into place.  For once in her life, with 200 metres to go in her Olympic Final, Sophie did not want the race to end, but wanted instead to be able to savour the experience!

There was talk in the bar at the end of the evening, amongst some of our older members, about the possibility of hanging the Women's Olympic Double sculling boat from the Long Room ceiling once it is retired from the British Rowing fleet, as a suitable partner to Casamajor's sculling boat and the Berlin four.

A thoroughly enjoyable and memorable celebration of the Club's Olympic success.

Monday
Sep102012

Lord Mayor of London visits LRC

London Rowing Club member and Lord Mayor of London, Alderman David Wootton, together with the Lady Mayoress, Liz Wootton, visited the Club last Saturday, 8th September. Together with the Club's Olympic Medallists, Sophie Hosking and Rob Williams, and Chief Coach and coach of Sophie's Double, Paul Reedy, they were entertained to a relaxed and informal lunch in the Members' Room  by current and former Committee Members and other Club Members.

In the absence of the President and Chairman abroad on official umpiring duties the event was hosted by Vice-President Mike Baldwin. Welcoming the Lord Mayor, Mike said how pleased he was that Lord Mayor was able to visit the Club during his packed year in office which, with the Diamond Jubilee, Olympic and Paralympic Games was even busier than normal. The Lord Mayor noted the Club's links to the City and complimented it on its long and successful history, its good governance and the breadth of rowing activities that took place there - including, now, the Explore Rowing programme. He congratulated Sophie on the style with which she had won her Gold Medal and Rob on the grace with which he had accepted Silver - having lost by the smallest of margins. He also commented on the various boat clubs he had visited around the world whilst representing the country in the Lord Mayor's role as unpaid ambassador for its Financial Services Industry. The Lord Mayor concluded by toasting the Club, Sophie, Rob and Paul.

In reply Paul spoke briefly about the involvement of internationals in the life of the Club and how this contributed to its 'family atmosphere'. Before the Lord Mayor left to present medals to Paralympians competing at Brands Hatch, Mike presented him with a copy of the Club's history signed by Sophie and Rob. Appropriately, given her father's comments, latest addition to the 'LRC family', Olivia Reedy, made an appearance with her mother Lucy just after the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress had departed.

Saturday
Sep082012

Olympic medal bash, three cheers for Daniel, Dave and Tash!

London Rowing Club's Olympic medallists received a well-earned heroes welcome at a champagne reception held in their honour.

Organised by the ever brilliant Daniel and David, with plenty of input from Tash Bolsin and Ed Gill, LRC members, guests and the all-important Olympians were treated to a night of bubbly, video and speeches.

Sophie Hosking, Robbie Williams and Phelan Hill provided the assembled guests with a stroke by stroke run down, accompanied by video footage, of their medal winning races, offering incredible insight and bringing it to life.

It wasn't just the athletes who received praise, Head Coach Paul Reedy was honoured with a speech by Danny Harte, who listed the many international athletes who've benefitted from Paul's coaching over the years.

A brilliant night was had by all, with special thanks to Sam Townsend, Tash Page, Jess Eddie - our local Olympians - for joining the party, and of course, the organisers.

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