ROWING has been added to the list of sporting activities available to wounded, injured and sick servicemen, women and veterans in the region – thanks to backing from royalty.
Phoenix House, a recovery centre for veterans and service personnel in Catterick Garrison, has been able to set up a rowing club through a fund created by the Royal Foundation, and now residents are receiving expert coaching from Durham Amateur Rowing Club.
The Endeavour Fund, created by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, is supporting a Row2Recovery domestic rowing programme to introduce more wounded service personnel and veterans to the sport.
DARC is offering fortnightly sessions on the River Wear for Phoenix House residents and those keen to take the experience further will then receive coaching up to competition level.
Phoenix House manager Mo Usman is encouraging all users to have a go at rowing after he met the two amputee soldiers who recently rowed the gruelling 3,000 miles across the Atlantic, alongside two able-bodied comrades, to raise money for Help for Heroes.
Mr Usman was among guests at Henley rowing club – the headquarters of Row2Recovery - when HRH Prince Harry presented the four rowers with medals to mark their achievement.
He said: “There is a plethora of activities becoming available for wounded, injured and sick servicemen, women and veterans but rowing is the one with real potential to proliferate.
“It can be done by an individual, pairs or a larger team and taken to Paralympic level.
“Having supporters such as Prince Harry means a lot those who participate in it and, hopefully, will encourage more people to do so.”
To contribute to The Northern Echo's £100,000 appeal for a performing arts facility at Phoenic House, print out the form at http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/resources/files/31397, complete and send with a cheque for Help For Heroes to Phoenix House Recovery Centre, Richmond Road, Catterick Garrison, DL9 3AW.