Tyne United RC partnership working: some background

Tyne United Rowing Club (TURC) was formed in April 2007. The name taken for the new club was from the last surviving club on the south side of the river that closed its doors in the early 1950’s after re-forming in 1946 after the Second World War. The Club is located within Gateshead close to the heart of some of the most severely disadvantaged communities in the country.

Since its formation a key priority for the Club has been to develop key partnerships to maximise the potential for developing rowing in Gateshead and to allow it the greatest opportunities to realise its Mission Statement. The development of these Partnerships has enabled the club to directly raise £883,000 (see table) towards the implementation of its site development plan

Physical Development Work commenced on the site in December 2008 with Easter 2009 seeing the delivery of the first learn to row courses and the establishment of the Club squads.

The Club has as its Mission Statement:

The Club wishes to use the broad range of experiences, skills and talents of its members to provide a base to:

  • create a community facility to use rowing to provide life-enhancing opportunities for local people, especially engaging youngsters, including those who may otherwise have become disillusioned, enabling them to achieve success at a range of levels
  • demonstrate that the skills acquired through rowing, which include the development of social interaction, self-discipline, motivation, organisation, dedication, time-management, goal setting and teamwork, are essentially transferable and may be constructively applied to other areas of life.’
  • promote excellence and international success in rowing for all those who aspire to pursue their goals through these means

Joint working

The Gateshead Rowing Development Partenership

Partnership working is crucial for the club to achieve these aims. To take forward this Mission Statement the club has established joint working with Gateshead Council, Gateshead College, the Gateshead Community Sports Network, the Gateshead Schools Partnership, Durham and Newcastle Universities, the Tony Blair Foundation and British Rowing to develop the sport of rowing within Gateshead and participates in the newly created Rowing Development Partnership.

The club is also establishing close links with Gateshead Council and British Rowing to develop in partnership with Gateshead College a Rowing Academy.  This will include the promotion of excellence and the development of modern apprenticeships for coaching development.

The Rowing Development Partnership has also developed a detailed Action Plan to complement the Clubs Development Plan. This partnership working resulted in grants totalling £98,000 from Gateshead Council. This includes contributions for the building works, boats and indoor rowing machines

This partnership will be critical in assisting the club meet its goals in the coming years. The Club has already started to receive very positive feedback from Gateshead Council Members in relation to current club activity and how we are engaging in the partnership.

Gateshead Council also funded the visit by over 30 young people to the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships in London in March 2010

Durham University

The Club also has well -established links with the regional performance programme for rowing based at Durham University. The programme bases a significant amount of its water based training at the Club. Durham University awarded grant of  £126,000 for the development of the site infrastructure to enable the performance programme and Durham College rowing to develop further on the Tyne. The University will also be contributing towards the running costs of the site.

The Community Arm of the University Sport has also contributed support in kind through the allocation of time from volunteer students to assist with the Learn 2 Row Courses.

Our private sponsors

Robert Gillespie
The complete belief in our project by Robert Gillespie (a major Durham University Alumnus and Chair of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race Committee), when nobody else was prepared to invest, resulted in a donation of £50,000, which we were able to gift aid. Robert allowed us to use his donation in anyway to ensure the success of the project. This donation was the catalyst for the award of the significant amounts of funding we have received (see table). Robert is not keen on the limelight but we do hope to persuade him to attend a club open meeting during 2010 to allow club members to meet him

National Grid
Work on the overhead cables crossing our site resulted in the construction of our access road by National Grid resulting in a conservative estimated contribution of £20,000

Paul Dodds and Melinda McCluskey’s equipment Hire Company have lent continual support to the club’s activities by not only donating the two commercial cookers we use, but also providing equipment free of charge as and when we need it for regattas and other club activities

Club Trustees
Chris Smith waived all professional fees in connection with the scheme design and obtaining Planning permission. This has an estimated value of £30,000. In addition Paul Armstrong and Chris jointly donated a further £10,000 as an interest free unlimited time loan to fund fees in connection with planning permission and associated legal fees

The Duke Of Northumberland
As our landlord the Duke of Northumberland has granted us a 37 year lease of our site for a nominal rent of £1000 a year.

Other Support
North East Concrete and Tarmac gave us subsidised rates on the concrete and hard core for the first boat shed totalling £1000.

Our grant giving partners

Sport England
Significant support has been received from Sport England through a variety of funding streams. This includes the Community Investment Fund, Sportsmatch and the Small Grants Fund. The investment in total is £434,000. This is contributing towards the physical infrastructure, club equipment and our Community Coach.

Environment Agency
The Environment Agency grant aided our first set of river access steps with an investment of £33,000

Foundation For Sport And The Arts
We were lucky enough to receive one of the last grants from this Foundation totalling £27,000 for our initial fleet of boats

Awards For All
The Big Lottery Awarded us £8800 from its Awards for All Fund for safety equipment

Sita Trust
Working in partnership with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BCTV) the club was awarded Flagship Project status and a grant of £10,000 for landscaping through its Green Prints programme. This work saw young people building dry stone walls, constructing a pond, widening the adjacent cycleway and planting trees, hedges and building willow fencing.

Community Foundation For Tyne And Wear
£5,000 from several small trusts including the Port of Tyne Trust through the Foundation was secured for oars

Akzo Nobel Community Fund
Funding was awarded for indoor rowing machines.

Complementary funding

Strategic Health Authority
The Strategic Health Authority working with the Tony Blair Foundation awarded Gateshead Council £40,000 for Indoor Rowing Machines in Gateshead Schools

Tony Blair Foundation
The Tony Blair Sport Foundation funded the running of a UKCC Level 1 Indoor Rowing course to expand the coaching base not only within schools but within the Community Fitness Team of Instructors who will be working with the Club to deliver community based courses.

The results

Club infrastructure

The club is establishing the physical infrastructure to allow it to become fully operational. The club has:

  • constructed the site access road, 2 sets of river access steps and three boat storage facilities
  • purchased our development and club squad fleet of boats
  • commenced construction of the clubhouse scheduled for completion in early June 2010
  • undertaken site landscaping

Indoor rowing

Last year saw the expansion of indoor rowing activity. The club working with the Rowing  Development Partnership achieved:

  • over 5000 young people taking part in the Gateshead On-Line virtual rowing league
  • with the Tony Blair Sport Foundation funding the running of a UKCC Level 1 Indoor Rowing course to expand the coaching base not only within schools but within the Community Fitness Instructors who will be working with the Club to deliver community based courses.
  • 30 young people both from the club and Gateshead Schools, funded by Gateshead Council participated in the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships in March 2010

Learn to Row

The Club has:

  • appointed in partnership with Gateshead Council a full time Community Rowing Coach (Gavin Coates) to facilitate the delivery of learn to row rowing courses and junior activity within the club and to continue to develop indoor rowing throughout Gateshead. Gateshead are the employer for the post and we are hopeful the Council will make the appointment permanent within the next 12 months.
  • delivered taster days to Gateshead Schools
  • delivered a junior and three Adult Learn to row courses within the club
  • delivered two Learn to row courses with schools and Gateshead College
  • delivered community rowing week in the school summer holidays
  • attracted nine qualified volunteer coaches to NVQ L2 or equivalent

Junior and senior rowing

The Club has established Junior, Senior and Masters Squads for those wishing to compete. The Gateshead Rowing Development Partnership has acknowledged the need for the appointment of a Development Coach to assist in the development of these squads. Work is in progress to identify possible funds for this post.

What next?

  • To secure funding for the proposed indoor rowing tank, additional development coach and Phase 2 of the clubhouse. Discussions are already underway with several potential funders. It is hoped to secure this funding during the course of 2010.
  • We recommence the delivery of our Learn to Row Programme in early April 2010
  • Our competitive squads will be competing at regattas and we will continue to identify ways to secure the expansion of these squads. There is a unique opportunity to be part of an organisation that is starting from the very beginning
  • To secure Club Mark. This is the kite accreditation demonstrating good practice for working with young people
  • Seek discussions with the Duke of Northumberland to secure additional land to allow us to plan the next phases of the development.
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