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SPORT ENGLAND PRESS RELEASE: A rowing club devastated by fire was today celebrating its change in fortune after receiving £1 million of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Iconic Facilities legacy fund.

Two of this country’s greatest Olympians, Sir Steve Redgrave and Katherine Grainger CBE, together with Paralympic gold medallist Naomi Riches and local MP and Home Secretary, Theresa May, today joined Sport England at Marlow Rowing Club to celebrate the next step on the Club’s road to recovery.


In 2011 a major fire destroyed part of the clubhouse and caused severe smoke damage to the rest of the building. The funding will be used to rebuild and extend the clubhouse, transforming it into a regional water sports venue offering canoeing, open water swimming and rowing.


The club will also become a regional centre for disability rowing. The installation of specialist gym equipment, a lift and improved access to the clubhouse will make it easier for disabled people to train at the club.


Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: “Our £1 million investment into Marlow Rowing Club will help reverse the fortunes of this thriving club. Rising from the ashes of this destroyed clubhouse will be an iconic water sports centre, creating a strong and tangible legacy from the London 2012 Games which can be enjoyed by the people of Marlow and surrounding areas.”


Other sports clubs to benefit from the work include Marlow Canoe Club, Henley Open Water Swimming Club, High Wycombe Triathlon Club and Longridge Canoe Club. 


Sir Steve Redgrave, five-time Olympic gold medallist and President of Marlow Rowing Club, said: “I am delighted that Sport England is investing £1m of Olympic legacy funding into Marlow Rowing Club.  I have fantastic memories of rowing at this club and I hope this investment will inspire a new generation to get on the water be it in a boat, a canoe or swimming.”


Rt Hon Theresa May MP said: “I am delighted Sport England has awarded £1million to Marlow Rowing Club. This money will allow more local people to enjoy a variety of sports in first-class facilities and ensure the legacy from London 2012 continues to live on.”


Iconic Facilities is part of Sport England’s £150 million Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities across the country. Every sports facility that receives funding will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark- celebrating the link to the Games.




Notes to Editors

Additional quotes

Chris Lenton, Chairman of the Fundraising Sub-Committee at Marlow Rowing Club, said: "This is an historic day for Marlow Rowing Club and our Partners. The team has worked very hard over the last 18 months to get to this stage and we are delighted that our grant application to Sport England has been successful. We are looking forward to building this iconic new facility which will transform water sport participation in the Thames Valley."  


Tom Kean, co-founder of Henley Open Water Swimming Club (HOWSC), said: “HOWSC are delighted to have been asked to form part of The Marlow Water Sports Hub and it is no exaggeration to suggest that this will be an historic development, not just for our club, but for the open water swimming community as a whole. We are a relatively new sport, with massive potential, and to have such an amazing base as this will plant us firmly on the map and provide a springboard to much greater participation. Our goal is to be able to provide opportunities for anyone who would like to try swimming outdoors; but our dream is to produce the odd Olympic contender in a few years’ time.”


Adrian Cooper, Chairman of Marlow Canoe Club said “Marlow Canoe Club is really pleased to support the redevelopment of Marlow Rowing Club’s clubhouse after the disastrous fire. The decision to widen the scope of the premises into a Watersports Hub is an imaginative one and will benefit river users in a number of different disciplines. We see the new Hub as an excellent facility for raising the profile of our various sports and for encouraging additional participation.”


Roger Hatfield, from Longridge Canoe Club said: “Longridge Canoe Club are pleased to be a part of the Marlow water sports hub and the funding will allow us to offer first class club and training facilities to our core and new members.”


Iconic Facilities


Iconic Facilities is part of the Places People Play legacy programme. At least £30 million of Lottery funding will be invested through Iconic Facilities. For more details, visit


Sport England


Sport England is focused on helping people and communities across the country create a sporting habit for life. We will invest over £1 billion of National Lottery and Exchequer funding between 2012 and 2017 in organisations and projects that will:


  • Help more people have a sporting habit for life
  • Create more opportunities for young people to play sport
  • Nurture and develop talent
  • Provide the right facilities in the right places
  • Support local authorities and unlock local funding
  • Ensure real opportunities for communities.


The National Lottery has been changing lives for 18 years. Every week National Lottery players raise over £30 million to help change people's lives across the UK.


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