A NEW rowing club hopes to inspire a generation by making its sport more accessible to the village.
The founder of Hillingdon Rowing says it will be able to tap into a previously undiscovered resource in the area and encourage more young people to take up the sport.
It is already planning to build links with Harefield Academy in Northwood Way.
Jon Neale set up the club at Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre (HOAC), off Harvil Lane, after realising that there was no dedicated rowing club in northwest London, southwest Herts and southwest Bucks.
He said: “If you live somewhere like Harefield or Rickmansworth you might have to travel quite far before you can find a club.
“We want people to be able to take advantage of a great facility that’s close by.
“We’re also hoping that, off the back of the Olympics, more people will feel motivated to take it up as a sport.”
Anyone over the age of 11 can join the club, which aims to inspire both former rowers and people who want to take it up.
The club also hopes its partnership with HOAC will help it go from strength to strength, with rowers taking advantage of the centre’s courses before joining the club. If they prefer they can join the club without any experience.
Mr Neale said: “HOAC has a fantastic set-up so it’s great that we are there.
“We’re very enthusiastic and passionate about setting up a strong, local club that will let people here take up and enjoy rowing.”
He revealed the club hopes to approach talented rowers at Harefield Academy, and encourage youngsters to join through the school.
“The best way to encourage young people is through the schools, so we definitely want to build a relationship with them,” said Mr Neale.
The club, which opted for authentic racing boats rather than plastic shells widely used for training, meets on Saturdays from 8am to 10am.
■ For more information, go to www.hillingdonrowing.com or email email@example.com.