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Club's push to raise £500k for boathouse
A RENOWNED Oxford rowing and canoe club is hoping to take advantage of the Olympic legacy with an ambitious new project for 2013.
Falcon Rowing and Canoe Club, near Donnington Bridge, wants to raise £500,000 to improve its boathouse and increase opportunities for youngsters.
The bid comes hot on the heels of Sport England’s announcement that it will give £493m to grassroots sports between 2013 and 2017.
Following their Olympic success, both sports were rewarded. Canoeing had a £10.2m investment and rowing got £8.2m.
UK Sport also announced funding increases last month.
Canoeing’s investment has improved from £24.8m for 2009-12 to £29.3m for 2013-17.
Meanwhile, rowing has gone up from £36.1m for 2009-12 to £40.8m for 2013-17.
The club hopes that if its bid for a grant gets backing from the city and county council it will be able to capitalise on that.
Club president Peter Travis said: “The legacy money is central to it. The Olympic afterglow is still there. This is the legacy money we were promised.
“We hope to get £250,000 of these funds and raise the rest locally.
“I think this possibility of funding is quite exciting and we’ll be looking for support from the county and city councils.”
The money would be used for a building which it got planning permission for two years ago or for an extension to its existing building.
Set with a target of three to four medals, Team GB’s canoeing hit its target with four, while rowing exceeded its target of six, by sealing nine medals.
The British Canoe Union is hoping to use the extra funding to build on last summer’s successes.
The sport will make its first Paralympic appearance in 2016.
It wants to get more disabled people taking part and to support talented para-canoeists.
Meanwhile British Rowing will use funding to reach more people.
It wants to offer more opportunities to the youth and disabled groups and give gym-based rowers the chance to row on the water.
Mr Travis added: “About a third of the money is being used for facility development and we would like some of that to come to Oxford.
“Oxford should be generating Olympic athletes for rowing and canoeing because of the history of the place. We need a facility that allows us to do that at Falcon. But we need that first grant to get the ball rolling for other funding.”
Falcon has around 250 child members and wants to increase participation from youngsters.
It already has a partnership with Cheney School and several connections with Oxford Brookes University.
Back in September the club won the Queen’s Award for Volunteering Groups. It was the first time this award was given to a sports club in Oxfordshire.
Falcon will learn this year whether its bid has been successful. It would hope to have the improved building ready in 2014.
Mr Travis said: “We hope to be up and running in time for the 2016 Olympics and in the future up to 2020.”