Shoreham Rowing Club captain recognised with National Volunteer Award

The captain of Shoreham Rowing Club has been recognised at a national level for his dedication to helping rowers reach their potential.

Monday, 1st April 2019, 11:36 am
Updated Monday, 1st April 2019, 11:41 am
Garry Saunders, captain of the Shoreham Rowing Club, with some of the junior rowers

Garry Saunders has been named as British Rowing’s West and South Coast Volunteer of the Year 2018 at its recent National Volunteer of the Year Awards.

The 51-year-old, who has been a member of Shoreham Rowing Club in Kingston Beach since he was 16, has been the driving force behind several of the club’s recent junior rowers attending trials to join the GB junior rowing team – with past Shoreham GB successes including a gold medal at the Youth Olympics in Sydney in 2013 and a bronze medal at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in Amsterdam in 2006.

Mr Saunders said “I am very pleased and very surprised to have received this award. Shoreham Rowing Club has been part of my life for so many years that I couldn’t imagine not being part of the community here.

“When I was 16 my father took me and some friends out on the water for the first time. I loved it and I have not looked back.

“For me, taking a leading role in the club is about people having opportunities to progress, to gain confidence and to realise their potential.”

Mr Saunders collected his award at a special ceremony and reception at the Riverand Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames.

Will McGrath, chairman of Shoreham Rowing Club, said he was proud to see the captain’s hard work recognised. He said: “We are an entirely volunteer-run club, no paid coaches, no salaried staff to keep our boats in good working order, and yet we’ve had junior rowers enjoying success competing for their country at an international level, we’ve had representation at prestigious events such as Henley Royal Regatta, we’ve won the coveted ‘Bideford Bowl’ more times than any other club and our current cohort of senior women have been unbeaten for the last six years.

“Garry has played a pivotal role in many of these successes and we are extremely proud that the huge commitment he has given to the club in time spent coaching, towing boats to regattas, organising crews and developing junior members has now been recognised on a national level.”