When I was elected to Leander Club over 50 years ago (scary thought) I was very proud to become a member of such a prestigious organisation with such a wonderful history. However, looking back at that time – the sixties – I now recognise that both British Rowing and Leander Club had lost their way in rowing terms. The rest of the world had moved on – we had been left behind.
Happily, things have changed and the last twenty plus years have seen both British Rowing and Leander Club move way up the ladder of success. The Club is now a powerhouse of rowing, developing the stars of the future for British Rowing. At the Final Olympic Trials at Caversham on 14th March athletes from Leander dominated the results – 8 of the top 14 rowers in the men’s pairs, 10 of the top 14 rowers in the women’s pairs, 4 of the top 7 scullers in the men’s singles and 4 of the top 7 scullers in the women’s singles.
Leander Club clearly plays a crucial role in the success of British Rowing and the continued well-being of the Club is a top concern for our Members, our athletes and our staff. Since my last message on 27th March the situation in the UK and at the Club has changed dramatically. The number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths both continue to rise. The Club has effectively closed down with only limited email contacts still available – see below.
However, with the support of all our Members we can and we will ride out this unprecedented storm. We will be without income from events (particularly the Regatta), accommodation, food and drinks for an unknown period. Supporting the staff and the fabric of the Clubhouse during this time will require us to dip into our reserves to an unknown extent. As Members you are the bedrock of the Club and your subscriptions are critical for the Club to be able to weather the storm ahead. Your support during this global crisis is very much appreciated.
These events in 2020 are unprecedented; Leander staff, athletes and Members alike are all affected. Inevitably, with over 3,500 Members there will already be people affected directly or indirectly with family and friends – we are into the unknown.
We are into the unknown – I wish you good health and the strength to get through any tough times you may be facing.