We are a Plymouth-based developing Pilot Gig Rowing Club and is a specialist branch of the Royal Marines Association - The Royal Marines Charity (RMA-TRMC) and our objectives are to promote, teach, and facilitate the sport of Cornish Pilot Gig Rowing, both competitively and recreationally. Our Club encourages and increases awareness and participation within the RMA-TRMC.
The Club was formed in May 2019 with only 10 members and a borrowed GRP (plastic) boat and oars. Very quickly, our membership doubled because previously physically inactive Royal Marine veterans, war pension recipients and RMA supporters became increasingly involved in the sport and wanted to try out the challenge of a new sporting activity. Only one of our founding members had any previous gig rowing experience but, very quickly, the enthusiasm from the members meant that our Club grew exponentially to its current level of 12 male & 15 female members.
We recently raised funds to purchase our own wooden boat which means that we are now able to offer additional gig rowing to a wider audience, in particular, encourage veterans and their supporters to become more socially and physically active which will also result in improved mental wellbeing and enhanced integration into civilian life. The additional boat also means that we have the capacity to promote a sporting activity to families who have someone deployed abroad, single & bereaved ex-service people, thereby alleviating the feeling of isolation and improving social inclusion. The majority of our members understand the challenges surrounding deployment and post-service life having faced it for themselves. Never has this been so important as in the times that we currently find ourselves.
We are an all-inclusive Club and our aim is to encourage and increase awareness and participation in gig rowing within the Royal Marines Association, other veteran organisations (e.g. Royal Navy Association), wounded, injured and sick (WIS) military personnel, active service personnel, their dependents, service personnel undertaking rehabilitation & recovery (including PTSD) and residents of Plymouth. In addition, we want to do all we can to raise awareness of the vital work the Royal Marines Charity does to support our armed forces family across a wide range of initiatives
Our club provides an opportunity for its members to stay connected and keep fit. . We are looking to make our sport accessible to all and we already have a healthy waiting list of people wishing to join us, including several registered disabled.
The oars which we have borrowed from another gig rowing club are in a poor condition and have been repaired many times meaning that they are very inefficient. With our increased rowing activities, the demands on these oars will, in turn, increase which will put further wear and tear on them and make them liable to snapping. When an oar is broken, it is almost impossible to repair and will never have the same integrity again.
Now that we have the use of two boats within the club, we are in desperate need of a new set of oars to enable us to be able to put both of our boats out onto the water at the same time to satisfy the demands of our members' rowing needs.
We have identified a local manufacturer of the oars that we require who can supply a set for £2520.
All the Gift Aid raised from our fundraising campaign will directly benefit the RMA - The Royal Marines Charity to help them continue their great work supporting the wider Royal Marine family.