Club News

East Sussex Rotary club brings community together for DIY boat race

East Sussex Rotary club brings community together for DIY boat race

Through boat races, cycling challenges and village competitions, Rotary clubs across the country are finding different ways of supporting key issues and organisations.

Bexhill Rotary Club, East Sussex had crowds lining the riverbanks in their local park to watch dozens of boats race between two ornamental lakes in the annual ‘Scrapheap Challenge’.

The club had challenged the people of Bexhill to design and build their very own watercraft made from whatever materials they could lay their hands on, bring them to Egerton Park and see how they fared.

It’s a good feeling to put something like this event on for the community to take part in and enjoy.”

The result was an increase in numbers from the previous year’s event, as 34 participants competed for the 10 prizes that were on offer.

Bexhill’s President Elect James Slinn and Past President Stephen White also had the task of judging the most imaginative watercraft design, with many cheers coming from the crowd as they announced the winners of the three age categories.

Bexhill Rotary Past President, Peter Mitchell-Davis, declared at the end of the event: “We’ve had yet another successful time here at Egerton Park at this free event and all those participating and spectating seem to have enjoyed the occasion, competition and construction process.

“It’s a good feeling to put something like this event on for the community to take part in and enjoy. Thank you to all those who helped during the afternoon to make it such as success.”

Further east along the South Coast near Portsmouth, two members of Fareham Rotary Club completed their challenge of cycling to Normandy, France in an effort to raise funds for an accessible roundabout at a children’s centre.

Bob Mussellwhite and Richard (Cogy) Coghlan upon arriving back to The Rainbow Centre.

Within a week, Rotarians Bob Mussellwhite and Richard (Cogy) Coghlan cycled over 440 miles within a week before being welcomed back to The Rainbow Centre in Fareham – a charity which supports children and adults affected by neurological conditions.

Over the course of their journey, Bob and Cogy experienced the kindness of the Rotary family, with Rotarians over in France allowing them to sleep in their gardens and even an artist’s studio in Le Havre.

So far, their efforts have raised over £1,500 and it is still possible to donate to the campaign through emailing Fareham Rotary.

Fareham Rotary President, Pam Marsden, said: “The Rainbow Centre supports children with motor impairment to overcome their difficulties through conductive education. This has been a great way to raise some of the funds needed for a new accessible roundabout at the Centre and Bob and Cogy have done us proud!”

Up towards London, The Rotary Club of Rochford recently made a £1,500 donation to HARP – a leading Southend charity helping local people overcome homelessness for good.

HARP helps over 1,000 people a year who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness. Everyone that walks through their doors can talk through the issues they are facing in their own time in a warm and safe place where trained staff are on hand to provide support and link people to the right services.

Brian Hunt presenting the cheque to Lisa Walton, Community Fundraiser at HARP.

Brian Hunt, Immediate Past President of Rochford Rotary, presented the cheque to Lisa Walton, Community Fundraiser at HARP. Brian said: “It was my pleasure, on behalf of the Rotary Club of Rochford, to present the cheque to HARP in recognition of the tremendous work they do locally to support those less well off than ourselves.”

Finally, Richmond Rotary Club successfully ran their ‘Best Kept Village 2022’ competition, with the standard of competition being extremely high and Bellerby first place.

Dave Stewart, a member of Richmond Rotary who organised the event, praised the efforts of participants and explained how the contest works: “We send judges to all the villages during the same two weeks in July and they score each village on seventeen criteria ranging from public spaces and private gardens to the condition of bus shelters, shops, guest houses, inns and the encouragement of wildlife. Villages without some features are not penalised.

“After the first scoring a second visit by different judges is organised to the front runners to be sure that the scores are fair.”

Richmond Rotary President Jos Huddleston, who presented the winner’s cheque to Bellerby, said: “Each year the event reminds us of the beautiful area where we live, and our exceptional villages well deserve the recognition that Rotary gives them through this challenging competition.”