175th Anniversary HRR Row Past – a club & sport for life

Broxbourne Rowing Club (BRC) was set up in 1847, so 2022 is our 175th anniversary, a real milestone for all our club members. The local Smith-Bosanquet family were involved in the early years of the club and sold the land the club is still located on to the club in 1923.  Sir Steve Redgrave kindly planted a tree to celebrate our 150th anniversary and Dame Di Ellis opened our new boathouse in 2007 and Paralympian and World Champion Tom Aggar opened our clubhouse in 2011. 

We have 140 members, family and friends joining us at Henley on Saturday to celebrate our anniversary row past. There are nine long-standing members representing the club in the row past who have been selected from the wide range of squads that make up the club, and for the support and dedication they have given to the club over many years.

Rowing really is a sport for life, something anyone can do their whole life or can come back to later in life or just start later in life, Broxbourne Rowing Club a club for all and for life.

Bow – Jim Brandon: Has been rowing at BRC approaching 60 years, from his early years, winning in crew rowing and sculling. He remains a keen member of the club and can often be seen training on the ergo, if not out on the water, or helping around the club.

2 – Anthony Stokes: Initially rowed in the west country and then joined BRC in 1993 aged 52, having had a 25 year lay off from rowing. In the last 29 years, he has won 26 international gold medals at World and European Masters Championships. At 81, he is the oldest racing member of the club. He is currently rowing and racing in an octogenarian crew with two Olympians. He was also President for six years.

3 – Chris Moody: Started as a chauffeur and assistant boat carrier for his sons Richard and Patrick. He was asked to cox a boat of beginners. He said, “I had helmed sailing dinghies, so I pretended not to be nervous and had a go. When the crew span the boat, it rolled horribly from side to side. I asked them not to lift their hands up and down. The rolling stopped. I was hooked. I had said something that made a difference. I have been trying to say things that will make a difference ever since.” Chris has led the club’s adult learn to row programme for many years, introducing hundreds of people to the sport.

4 – Chris Lawn: Learnt to row in Cambridge with 1st & 3rd Trinity in 1964. He competed in a college four at Henley in 1965 and rowed Head of the River in the May Bumps in 1966. In 2010, he returned to rowing, joining BRC, after a 44-year gap in which he played rugby and ran (on the track). He organised outings and tours for the Recreational Rowing Group for several years prior to 2019, showing it is never too late to come back or to start rowing.

5 – Andy Kelly: Rowing is a sport for life. Andy joined the club aged 11 and has been a club member ever since; 52 years and counting. He has many wins, including World and European Masters Championships. He regularly races in rowing and sculling, and is occasionally persuaded to cox, where his experience is invaluable. He has also overseen house and grounds at the club for many years.

6 – Katie Ball: Began rowing at BRC and was highly successful as a junior, with wins including National Junior Championships (1979 & 1980) and the Women’s Pennant at the Scullers’ Head in 1981. Katie represented Great Britain at 3 junior and 2 senior World Championships, and the 1984 Olympics in the four. Katie is one of three juniors from the club who have gone on to represent Great Britain at the Olympics (Tom Stallard, 2008 & Rowan McKellar, 2020). Katie had a break from rowing for a number of years, during which she was a founding member of Saracens Women’s Rugby, until rowing drew her back in, becoming a popular and galvanising coach for BRC women, where she has made an enormous difference.

7 – Amanda Hosking: Was the first female Captain and President at BRC, which she has done twice for a total of 12 years, overseeing significant fundraising and investment in the club’s facilities. Amanda learnt to row at university and won as a senior at Bradford and the Lea before joining BRC 20 years ago. She is a relative newcomer compared to some other crew members. Amanda regularly races as a master, getting to the final of Henley Masters last year (WD4x), and often competes with today’s cox, with whom she won the WEHORR pennant (2008) and two golds at BR Masters Champs this year.

8 – Sarah Richardson: Learnt to row while a student at the Royal Veterinary College because “it looked like the members had fun.” She rowed for a year with King’s College and has rowed and raced as a senior and master for BRC since. She was women’s Vice Captain for a year and recently married another popular club member doctor Dan.

Cox – Sarah Gilliver: Learned to row at university in York and first rowed at Broxbourne 20 years ago. Chris Moody was one of her coaches and after winning her novices at Bedford she has gone on to win various events including Provincial Club Pennant at Women’s Head of the River Race (2008) and 2 gold medals (WD4x & WD8+) at this year’s British Rowing Masters Championships. She has been women’s Vice Captain, Club Captain, and Safety Advisor.

Volunteer Session Coaches/Assistant Coaches for Junior Rowing Squad

This is a great opportunity to join Broxbourne Rowing Club’s volunteer coaching team and coach juniors from complete beginners to GB trialists. Broxbourne Rowing Club has a growing and enthusiastic junior squad (J13s to J18s) and its facilities include a 3km stretch of the beautiful River Lea, a well maintained boat fleet and purpose built gym for land training.

We are looking for individuals with a passion for rowing to join our team of Junior Coaches. You should enjoy working with teenagers and want to share your love of the sport with them. You will coach/support land and water training sessions following the training programme set by our head Junior Coach. Junior training sessions typically run weekend mornings and also early evenings during the week; as part of the volunteer Junior Coaching Team, it will be up to you how much or how little time you are able to offer as a volunteer.

Whilst no rowing or coaching experience is necessary as we will support your development, the following would be beneficial

  • Experience of working with Teenagers
  • Coaching Experience
  • Rowing/Sculling Experience
  • British Rowing Level 2 Rowing Coach certificate.

As a Broxbourne Volunteer Coach the club would be able to offer the following (in agreement with the Club Captain):

  • Club Coaching Attire (Waterproofs, etc)
  • Coach Development Opportunities
  • Free Saturday morning breakfast
  • Fuel Allowance – where applicable
  • Support toward British Rowing Qualifications.

All regular coaching positions require an Enhanced DBS check and two references to be carried out, alongside completion of the Safeguarding and Protecting Children course, and three British Rowing online training modules.

If you are interested, please contact our Captain, Russell, via the email captain@broxbournerowingclub.org

Remembering Neil Fryer, 1936-2020.

After being in poor health for the last six months, Neil Fryer, 84, died on Thursday January 16th, 2020.

Neil built a successful business career spanning 40 years with Westminster Bank, know known as National Westminster Bank, while engaging in his two lifelong passions of Rowing and Jazz. Neil’s rowing started at school, he then joined Westminster Bank Rowing Club at Putney, where he rose to become the Captain. During this period he represented the club in the Thames Cup at Henley Royal Regatta. He then joined Broxbourne Rowing Club in the early 70s, where, by using his banking business skills, became involved in helping to run the club and start building it up from the very small club it was in the 70s, to the highly successful club of 250 members it is today, with some members going on into the GB squad and attaining World and Olympic fame.

He took on the roles of Coach, Captain, Treasurer, President and finally Senior Trustee. He rowed competitively at the Club for many years. When he finished competing, Neil threw himself full time into coaching and supporting all crews wherever they were competing, in the UK or Overseas. Neil was also the British Rowing Rep for the Eastern Region for many years and a registered Umpire. His involvement and help on the administration and financial side of the club was also invaluable and continued long after stepping down from President in the 90s. 

He was an incredible walking encyclopedia of rowing Facts and Figures and the main source of knowledge for hundreds of rowers who would ring him continuously for his amazing retentive memory recall. Not only could he remember who won the The Grand or Thames Cup in any particular year, he would know the individual names of all the crews also.

This unbelievable memory also extended to his other passion, jazz and music generally. One could just hum, or whistle two bars of any tune and he would immediately tell you what the title was plus the artist and lyricist. He played the tenor sax in many jazz groups right up to his death and was very well known by the majority of top jazz musicians in and around the London Jazz scene, including Ronnie Scott and Humphrey Littleton who he was friends with.

Many famous jazz musicians and singers from all around the World come and play at Broxbourne Rowing Club’s “Jazz at The Boathouse” sessions that Neil organised and put on once per month for many years. Dedicated jazz followers would come miles to listen to the top musicians at a little rowing club on the banks of the River Lea in Hertfordshire. Neil will be missed by his family and friends, plus all those rowers that regularly want facts and figures from yesteryear.

He also drove in the equivalent of the British Touring Cars, against Jim Clark and counted the legends as friends, including Colin Chapman and Bob Dance of Lotus, Eric and Graham Broadley from Lola. 

Neil’s Funeral will be on Tuesday 18th Feb at 2pm at Woolensbrook Crematorium, Hoddesdon EN11 9BN and then at Broxbourne Rowing Club.