9:40am Wednesday 23rd January 2013
By Sport reporter
ROB Shopland, Emma Williams, Ashley Kenway and Alan Pinch were the big winners at Bridport Gig Rowing Club’s annual awards night, held this year at Ellipse Restaurant in West Bay.
Hosted by social secretary Andy Preston and last-minute replacement Jan Thorne, the event marked the achievements of those club members who had shown exceptional performances or attitude over the past 12 months with the prizes being chosen by the rowing captains and committee.
The most improved male rower award was won by Shopland, who according to men’s captain Simon Bowler “has worked hard to improve his rowing ability and has been open to encouragement.
He trains hard and is always a positive influence in the men’s squad.”
The ladies’ captain, Nicky Zaiger, awarded the most improved female rower accolade to Emma Williams, who “had achieved a lot in the past year. Like Rob, she has worked hard to improve her technique.
She always gives her best and raced at Newquay last year, stepping in at short notice and again giving her best.”
Winner of the most improved junior rower was picked by junior captain Chris Day. He said: “I have chosen Ashley Kenway as he has developed into a very able junior rower with a positive attitude and sense of humour.
“He is a very determined and gritty rower, particularly when racing. I look forward to him becoming a valued member of the men’s squad.”
The final award, for clubman of the year, was a committee decision and went to a member who “stood out head and shoulders above others because of their dedication and hard work for the benefit of the whole club.
They have been willing to row and cox plus worked tirelessly in the background.”
This was given to club bosun Pinch, who commits himself to hours of work on the maintenance of the boats and oars and was a deserving winner on the night.
Meanwhile, the club’s next fundraising event is the Big Breakfast in West Bay and sponsored row to Lyme Regis on Saturday, February 16 from 8.30am, which will be attended by Weymouth and Swanage rowing clubs.
There is a chase boat following the row and spaces on it are still available. Those interested can visit the Bridport Gig website for more information on how to support the event.
Bridport is hoping to raise enough money to buy a third boat from a club in Salcombe, allowing them to hold extra training sessions and enter more crews at regattas.
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