£5,498 to help GGBC during current COVID-19 pandemic

Goring Gap Boat Club has been awarded £5,498 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund towards supporting the club during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

The outbreak of the virus and the consequent shutdown of businesses from March 23 has left the sport and physical activity sector facing a period of uncertainty.

In response, on March 31 Sport England announced a £195m package to help the sport and physical activity sector through covid-19. Within the package is a £20m Community Emergency Fund, of National Lottery money to deliver immediate funding to those who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus.

The grant was awarded to GGBC to cover essential running costs for the period March 23rd to July 31st 2020, helping to ensure the club could maintain their place in the community.

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said: 

As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future. The £20m Community Emergency fund, made possible by National Lottery players is part of a multimillion pound package of support we are providing to ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to the nation’s health and wellbeing. We are proud to be able to provide vital funding to Goring Gap Boat Club to help it through these extremely challenging times.

July 2020 Newsletter

It has been six weeks since lockdown was eased. The club is nowhere near normality, but we have come a long way.

General News

Sadly, the willow by the pontoon fell down, only just missing our launch and the pontoon. Thanks to Richard Berkley and John Hyde who cut it to size without injury. The good news is that our frontage is now a bit more open and it will be easier to launch from the pontoon.

Despite lockdown we have had a surprisingly healthy influx of new members. Please make them feel welcome!

Picnics are now allowed, but only for members’ families.


Richard has organised single sculling coaching on Saturdays and Sundays within British Rowing’s COVID-19 restrictions and we now have 40 scullers assigned to club singles. A silver lining of lockdown is that many people have dared to try sculling that otherwise would not, so I think this will have a long lasting positive effect. If you would like to get involved then please contact Richard.

For those of you who don’t want to go out in our fine sculls we have a number of other options. These include our punts, Snuffy for stable sliding seat sculling in family groups, Canadian canoes, stable single sculls with floats and a new fixed seat boat for family groups or picnics.

If you want some guidance on using these boats contact Andy McKenzie.


Boathouse volunteering has restarted within government COVID-19 guidelines and steady progress is being made.

Our water-flushing toilets are almost ready.

Brian Barnes has an ambitious plan of work, so please contact him if you would like to help.


We got an excellent response from the call for help with mowing. Big thanks to Matthew Crowder, Belinda Drew and Andy Hyde for offering to do the job.

Stuart Hunt and Chris Gardner both mended a push mower each and we have a sit-on lawn tractor from Anthony Jordan.

I am really pleased we got this help as David Key and Nick Digby were overworked. Despite this they have kept the site looking great and complying with the strict constraints of the council’s ecological plan.

If you would like to discuss anything, please get in touch with anyone on the committee.

Current status

We are back on the water. Unfortunately we are still quite restricted and we cannot restart club sessions.

All boats are allowed on the water, so long as British Rowing’s COVID-19 guidelines are followed.

We have several fun boats that members can use with their families:

  • two punts
  • Snuffy – gig with room for 2 scullers and 2 small coxes
  • Jolly Roger – gig for two sweep oar rowers and a cox
  • Water Vole – fixed seat family boat
  • two Canadian canoes
  • one manufactured single with floats
  • two home-made singles with floats

Please keep the forecourt clear at all times as construction work access may be required.

Safety rules

• Do not visit the club if you or anyone in your house are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 or whilst you should be self-isolating
• Wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitiser before touching any equipment
• Only 2 people in a bay at a time
• Keep the doorways clear
• Follow social distancing guidelines at all times
• Wash all boats and blades before and after use
• Disinfect blade handles and high-touch areas (gunnels, riggers, gates, footboard fastening nuts, seats, hatch covers) before & after use
• Store trestles in bay 3
• Write up your session on the outing board
• Carry a mobile phone when on the water
• Do pre-boating safety check
• Do not use the catering facilities
• Follow all normal Club safety procedures

John Fawthrop

We are sad to report that John Fawthrop passed away last Sunday.

John was always smiling and a pleasure to be around. He gave a lot to the club and the regatta over many years.

We were extremely fortunate to have John’s experience, composure and competence as treasurer for five years.

John rowed at Tiffin School and Kingston Rowing Club. After that he was one of the founders of Warwick University Boat Club. Later he rowed at London Rowing Club.

A true gentleman. He will be sorely missed.

We will pass on the details of the memorial service.

Full shutdown of club rowing

Yesterday British Rowing sent out advice saying:

British Rowing advises that all Affiliated Clubs should cease all club-based activity as soon as reasonably possible tonight and not reopen tomorrow until further notice. This advice will be reviewed, on an ongoing basis, in line with Government guidance.

Therefore we have decided to shutdown the boathouse completely until further notice.