Row2Recovery realised the importance of building on the success of two inspiring Atlantic crossings and to create a lasting legacy project that will be accessible to all wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel and Veterans despite their ability. This new and inclusive programme aims to enhance existing rowing clubs with suitable equipment and facilities to ensure that all are able to experience the sport of rowing at a variety of levels. Row2Recovery’s military para-rowing programme has been specifically designed to dovetail with the MOD’s rehabilitation and recovery system for their Wounded, Injured and Sick.
Thanks partly to a recent grant from The Endeavour Fund, Prince Harry was proud to launch this rowing programme that will link the clubs to Recovery Centres around the country in partnership with ‘British Rowing, ‘Help for Heroes’ and ‘Battleback’. Initially this will be open to Personnel and Veterans at the Recovery Centre at Tedworth House and from the Defence Military Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court but Row2Recovery plans to extend this programme to clubs close to the Recovery Centres at Catterick, Colchester and Plymouth.
“Para-Rowing is non-weight-bearing and accessible for the majority of the injured. We’ve had amputees rowing oceans and soldiers identified as having Paralympic potential; but others just use para-rowing simply for fitness or recreation. Most describe being on the water as a feeling of freedom from their injury.…”PADDY NICOLL, CHAIRMAN, ROW2RECOVER
The recent grant from The Endeavour Fund will be used to improve the facilities at Guildford Rowing Club and Marlow Rowing Club with specialist equipment that will allow nearly anyone, despite physical injury, to enjoy the sport of rowing and to use it to enhance their own recovery pathway.
Marlow Rowing Club, with Sir Steve Redgrave CBE as its President, has been chosen as the Host Club in British Rowing’s new Paralympic development scheme. The scheme is the para-rowing element of the Elite Talent Development Pathway (ETDP) which takes promising individuals from early steps into the GB paralympic team.
There are already four wounded or injured Personnel or Veterans at this stage and it is hoped that the Row2Recovery programme will encourage more people to aim for this level of competition. British Rowing deliver the entire operational provision, which they do at no cost. This allows Row2Recovery to concentrate on fundraising solely for the necessary adaptive rowing equipment and running extreme WIS para-rowing endeavours to raise awareness and funds for our wounded.
Prince Harry launched the programme during his visit to Henley River and Rowing Museum in March 2014 and was joined by Olympic and Paralympic rowers of past and present to support this opportunity for wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel and Veterans to engage with this fantastic sport.