The President's Fund was established to encourage members of the club with ambition to represent their country. 2011 is the 20th anniversary year of its foundation and in that period the Fund has been able to help a significant number of young members to achieve their ambition.
Past recipients have included Cath Bishop who became World Champion in a pair with Katherine Grainger. Most club members will be unaware that competitors in the annual Great Britain - France international for U16 crews, the Home Internationals and Coupe de Jeunesse have to pay their own costs, there is no sponsorship, on top of the cost of special training camps and selection trials.
The Fund exists to ensure that nobody is deterred from their ambition by a shortage of funds and we also give financial assistance to any of their coaches who have to take unpaid leave to be with them. We are aware that there are special funds arranged by the junior squads to help parents with the season-long racing costs but they do not cover selection or representation costs.
The Fund is not a charity, because, first, its remit does not have a sufficient element of public benefit to enable it to qualify as a charity and, second, given the modest sums involved, the cost of audit and Charity Commission compliance would be disproportionate. It cannot, therefore, offer donors Gift Aid relief but there are many similar worthy causes in the same situation: Amnesty International is a good example.
The Trustees of the Fund are Peter Blaseby, Adrian Kerridge, John Labdon and Guy Greenhous.
Currently the only income we receive is from donations from a small number of club members, apart from a few one-off specials. The trustees are therefore keen to hear from anyone who wishes to support the work of the fund, so as to enable the Fund to continue giving the help to the Juniors which it has so successfully provided since it was set up in 1991.