STOURPORT Boat Club are setting course on a project to encourage more people into the sport.

The club have signed up to the Explore Rowing project, an initiative funded by Sport England, to encourage greater numbers into the sport.

The three-year long project, which begins in April, will see Stourport run two introductory courses which will act as a stepping stone to newcomers and allow them to then move onto competitive action.

Stourport is set to target people who would not normally have access to rowing.

“The idea of this project is to get local people active and we are pleased to be able to provide the boats for the less able or competitive,” said club captain Pete Lashford.

A grant of £12,500 from British Rowing will provide a 50 per cent contribution to the purchase of seven stable rowing boats that will enable all ages and abilities to participate in rowing.

The project will also support the development of coaches and volunteers, providing funds for coaching qualifications and other training aids such as lifejackets and safety equipment.

The first boat to arrive at the club has been sponsored by Hobsons Brewery of Cleobury Mortimer.

Nick Davies of Hobsons, who have supported the club for a number of years, attended a ceremony to officially name the first coxed four.

n Bewdley Rowing Club’s under-16s quartet of Tim Hopkins, Oli Bushnell, Sam Taylor and John Keen-Tomlinson followed up their Worcester Head of the River win with another emphatic triumph at Monmouth.

The men’s veterans C coxed four of Tim Lazenby, Dave Bennett, Paul, Jones, John Purcell and cox Laura Ray beat the home club Monmouth to take a deserved win.

Meanwhile, Jon Hinton and Dave Merchant overcame a Swansea University double to win the open senior coxless double.