BANN Rowing Club captain, Keith Leighton, last night welcomed the news that the club is to receive a major government funding boost, TIMES SPORT CAN REVEAL.
The club has been awarded £50,000 under the Sports NI Communities Capital Programme and will use the windfall to buy new equipment which should start arriving at the Hanover Place clubhouse within the next few weeks.
Expressing his delight at the cash injection, Keith said: “This was our Olympic Legacy Project which followed on from the success of the Chambers brothers and Alan Campbell at the Olympics in London.
“We made an application for funding to the Minister and DCAL and thankfully it has come good. We will use the money to purchase new equipment for the club.
“To have three Olympic medal winners from the same town, never mind the same club and from the one sport is unique and this grant is a recognition of that.”
Keith said the club had already ordered a range of new equipment which will include two racing boats, two racing quads, two safety launches and engines, ten ergometres (indoor rowing machines) and two training sculls.
The captain said he wished to express his sincere gratitude to DCAL, Sports NI and Coleraine Borough Council for supporting Bann’s application.
“This is a great reward for everyone at the club.
“We wanted to ensure that we could deliver an Olympic legacy and this money will help the club develop and bring on a new generation of athletes. We are all delighted.”
Prime Minister David Cameron paid a suprise visit to Bann Rowing Club during London 2012 in August to meet club officials and see the hometown club of medal heroes Alan Campbell and brothers Peter and Richard Chambers.
“I wanted to come and see where they all trained,” he said.
Campbell won bronze in the sculls while the Chambers boys took silver in the GB lightweight fours.