Boat club with Olympic pedigree opens new £600,000 boathouse

Wednesday, 05 June 2013

Boathouse opening June 04 2013

Oxford Brookes University Boat Club (OBUBC), the top UK university squad for young rowers aiming to get into Team GB, has unveiled a new £600,000 boathouse at its base on the Thames at Cholsey near Wallingford.

The building features land-based training areas, extra boat storage and large changing rooms for the growing elite crews.

OBUBC has been hugely successful in turning out winners in women’s and men’s rowing in recent years.

Steve Williams, double Olympic gold medallist, was a student rower at Oxford Brookes and oarsmen from Brookes have won five gold medals since the Sydney Olympics.

Seven Brookes rowers competed in the 2008 Olympics, winning one gold and three silver medals between them, which included Steve Williams’ second gold. In terms of the overall Olympic medal tally for UK universities, Oxford Brookes ranks fourth.

At London 2012, students and alumni won further Olympic medals. Sports Science student Peter Chambers and his alumnus brother Richard picked up silver while alumni Alex Partridge and Matt Langridge won bronze. Brookes alumnus James Roe became a Paralympic champion when he took gold in the Mixed Coxed Fours final at the 2012 Games’ rowing regatta.

The current OBUBC men’s group contains Great Britain under-23 international athletes, and athletes with Great Britain junior international experience. The club has had many wins at Henley Royal Regatta.

Richard Spratley, the club’s head coach, said: “The new boathouse will help to maintain Oxford Brookes’ position as one of five feeder squads to Team GB.

“This club is a proven route to the Olympics and the new boathouse will help secure our position at the top.”

To view some photos of the opening day of the boathouse, please take a look at our Flickr gallery.