Medals for all at Italian regatta
STRATFORD Boat Club’s mixed ability group attended an international rowing event in Turin, Italy, last week with crews comprising competitors with a disability and their mainstream, able-bodied colleagues, reports Chris Best.
After attending the event in 2022, the club was instrumental in encouraging others to attend and this meant some of the UK crews were made up of a combination of Ross, Glasgow, Stratford and Ross-on-Wye rowers.
The regatta itself was made up of several parts over two days of competition. A Special Olympics section for those with an intellectual impairment, a set of straight adaptive/para events and also a section for ex-prisoners from Italian jails as part of their rehabilitation along with the mixed ability races.
All the UK teams, whether individually or in the combined crews, had a very successful weekend. Stratford rowers won several gold, silver and bronze medals competing in five abreast side-by-side racing on the River Po. Every Stratford Boat Club competitor came home with a least one gong!
Mark Dewdney, Stratford’s head adaptive coach, said: “It’s a great and unique event. We have sung its praises in the rowing world and the number of UK and Irish crews attending is on the rise.
“We went for a week to practice, race and enjoy Turin and the company of our Italian friends – in the end, the results don’t matter. What does matter is seeing everyone have a good time at a truly integrated regatta.”