A NEW boat is set to be built to pay tribute to the late wife of the Bishop of Worcester after a rowing club received a five-figure funding boost.
Zaznak has secured almost £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All to develop the UK’s first coastal rowing organisation of its type for landlocked communities.
The money will also help the Top Barn-based club build a boat which has been named, ‘Zan Denise’ – ‘Zan’ is Cornish for coast, while ‘Denise’ is the name of the Bishop of Worcester, John Inge’s late wife who lost her battle with cancer last year.
Once work has been completed, which is expected to be in late June, the Bishop will launch the ceremonial ship, known as a St Ayles skiffs.
Richard Wood, owner of Zaznak, said he also believes the funds will help to make rowing accessible and inclusive as he said it was seen as an exclusive activity for coastal inhabitants.
“The first St Ayles coastal rowing club was set up by The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association in 2009 and has since gone from strength to strength,” he said. “Worcester’s location is unique in that it is the UK’s first inland club.”
Mr Wood said he hopes to put the rowing club into a position where it can work towards being affiliated to British Rowing, while looking at outreach development and social enterprise to extend the opportunity, mentor and assist other communities who wish to set up similar coastal rowing clubs.
He added: “There is an enormous opportunity for coastal rowing to reach many UK lives – 57million residents live inland – with the majority of them only 70 miles from the coast – and only three million in coastal regions.
“With 19,000 miles of coastline around the country, there is huge potential for us to develop the initiative.
“Coastal rowing is different to rowing in fine boats, and is arguably the optimum team sport.”