ROWING Olympian Jess Eddie today (Sunday, October 6) launched a boat named in her honour at the North-East club where she first took up the sport. 

Jess visited the Durham Amateur Rowing Club (DARC), Green Lane, Durham Durham City to christen the lightweight eight. 

The Durham-born sportswoman, who attended the city’s St Leonard's Catholic School and learned to row on the River Wear when she was eight years old, joined DARC as a teenager before being picked for the GB squad when she was just 16.

She has since rowed for Great Britain as a junior, under-23 and senior rower, competing in the GB womens’ eight in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. She most recently finished 4th in the 2013 World Championship.

The Jessica Eddie will be used by the club’s top junior and womens’ squads and is the result of a year-long fundraising campaign, including a “pieces-of-eight” auction, music nights and Sainsbury’s bag-packing.

The launch today was also attended by Durham deputy mayor Councillor Jan Blakey and senior members of the region’s rowing community.

Jess said: “I am really proud and honoured they have named a boat after me.

"It is a massive privilege. It's also been great to come back to the club that gave me so much and put me on the path to being a professional rower.”

DARC president Bill Parker said "Jess has been an inspiration to everyone in the club, young and old.

“We are very proud of everything that she has achieved and look forward to taking her name to regattas around the country."

Durham Amateur Rowing Club is running Learn to Row courses for adults as part of County Durham Sport’s, Move into Sport programme.

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