A Tees Rowing Club crew, including Ralph Pickles and Dick Marlow, Directors of the Tees River Users Trust, together with Chris Kenyon and Bob Bainbridge, recently picked up a gold medal at the 2016 British Rowing Masters Championships held at the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham.
The crew secured gold in the 4x- (coxless quads) with an outstanding time of 3.43.21 in the Masters H category (average age 70 to 75) – beating the winning time posted by the victors of last year’s World Masters.
The River Tees plays a big part in Ralph’s life – his work with the Tees River Users Trust and involvement with Tees Rowing Club recently helped to secure significant funding for the River Tees Watersports Centre. The extension of the facility includes two additional bays and bigger gym provision, resulting in valuable additional capacity for rowing enthusiasts in Stockton Borough.
Ralph said: “Tees Rowing Club is an inclusive club that welcomes new members who may want to race or just to enjoy exercise in friendly company in the open air. It’s never too late to start and some of us keep going for a long time! The Tees is the best river in the north of England and a great place to get fresh air and exercise.”
The Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Ken Dixon, said: “It is brilliant that we have a British Champion from the Borough and Ralph has shown that you don’t need to be in Rio to win gold with his phenomenal achievement right here on British turf.
“Rowing is an exceptionally demanding and competitive sport and the whole team has performed to a truly gold standard to win such a fiercely contested race. Their achievement should act as motivation for budding athletes in the Borough, especially for anyone interested in rowing with the newly extended facilities we have at the River Tees Watersports Centre. It is a tremendous facility and offers anyone the opportunity to get involved with fun and healthy sporting activity set on the River Tees.
“We should look to harness this enthusiasm and talent to ensure that we continue to have people from our area making the podium at such prestigious sporting events in the future.”
For more information on the River Tees Watersports Centre, visit www.rtwc.co.uk or call 01642 628940.