COACHES from a rowing club have scooped a national award in recognition of their exemplary skills.

The Chester-le-Street Amateur Rowing club were announced as the winners of the British Rowing Coaching Team of the Year and will attend a ceremony at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on- Thames on Saturday, February 4.

Head coach Steven Thompson, said: “We were delighted when we heard the news.

“It is such an honour. Our team of coaches is made up entirely of volunteers and this award looks at clubs like ours alongside those with professional coaching staff, so it is a particularly proud moment for us.

“It truly puts the dedication of our volunteers in the spotlight.”

The Chester-le-Street coaching team is made up of ex-amateur rowers, returning students and parents of rowers, who all come together to coach over 90 juniors and 25 seniors and veterans.

Steven added: “We are well thought of by British Rowing as a lead club for junior development and recently we have enjoyed fantastic success both at home, nationally and internationally, with one of our girls competing at the Junior World Championships and two others representing Great Britain at the GB vs France tournament this summer – that’s the first time someone from this region has been represented there for 20 years.

“Over the last four or five years, we have consistently won five or six medals a year, which is a real achievement for a club as small as ours.”

The club has recently received grants from the Neighbourhood Budgets of Cllrs Keith Davidson, Simon Henig, Linda Marshall and Tracie Smith through the Chester-le-Street Area Action Partnership.

Cllr Henig said: “It is a pleasure to support a club like this where the enthusiasm and dedication of the volunteers shines through. These coaches, who give so willingly of their own time, are a credit to the club. It is fantastic to see a new generation of talented young rowers emerging from our county, thanks to the hard work of the coaches who really are leading lights in their field and we are delighted to hear that their work has been recognised and put in the limelight nationally.”

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