Love Rowing, British Rowing’s Charitable Foundation, has appointed three-time Olympian and Olympic silver medallist Cath Bishop as the organisation’s first Chair as the Foundation prepares to launch its fundraising and proactive outreach support to bring the benefits of rowing to more communities around the country.
Four new Trustees will also join the Board: current member of the GB Rowing Team Ellen Buttrick; former GB U23 and junior rower Francesca Jus-Burke, executive coach Nick Steel and charity specialist Richard Woods. They will work together with Cath and the three existing Trustees Hugh Elwes, Sally Pettipher and Glyn Groom.
Helen Rowbotham, Love Rowing Director, commented: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome our new Love Rowing Chair and Trustees who bring a diverse range of skills as well as professional and life experiences to our Board. We all strongly believe in the unique benefits and transformative impact of rowing and, working together with our partners, look forward to creating accessible and inclusive opportunities to take part in the sport”.
Love Rowing formally launched in late 2019 with the aim of making rowing an accessible and inclusive sport and ensuring that people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of rowing. It aims to support specific communities through targeted grant funding into programmes and projects.
The five new appointees are:
Chair: Cath Bishop
Cath competed at three Olympic Games and became the first British woman to win the World Championships and an Olympic medal in the coxless pairs. After retiring from the Olympic team, Cath went on to have a career as a diplomat with the Foreign Office and now works as a business coach and consultant in leadership development. Her book The Long Win was published in 2020 to rave reviews from across the sporting world.
Cath said: “I am delighted to be joining the Love Rowing Foundation Board of Trustees as Chair and supporting its aims to progress the inclusive growth of our sport. I look forward to bringing my love of rowing and breadth of professional experience to bring the sport of rowing to more individuals and communities who have not previously had the opportunity to benefit from all that rowing can offer on and off the water.”
Trustee: Ellen Buttrick
Ellen Buttrick is a current member of the GB Rowing Team aspiring to compete at this year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Since joining the team in 2018, Ellen has been an integral member of the PR3 mixed coxed four, defending their World Champion title in 2018 and 2019. Alongside her sporting career, Ellen has worked with a number of national charities and is a dedicated volunteer with organisations widening participation in sport, empowering refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and supporting the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ellen said: “I became a Trustee for Love Rowing because I want every person in the UK who could benefit from being a member of the rowing community to have the opportunity to do so. Through my work and volunteering I have witnessed the inequalities of opportunity across the UK and I want to be a part of bridging this gap. I am particularly interested in introducing young people to our sport through school programmes and in delivering adaptive rowing programmes nationwide.”
Trustee: Francesca Jus-Burke
Francesca started rowing in 2000 through ‘Project Oarsome’, a British Rowing scheme aimed at getting state school children into the sport, and went on to win three World Rowing Championship medals as a junior and under 23 international. She is now an associate lawyer at Ince and sits on the organisation’s Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee and Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Before joining Ince, Francesca worked as a coach at Putney High School and Barn Elms Boat Club, as a tutor and assessor for British Rowing, and as a mentor for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.
Francesca said: “I wanted to join Love Rowing because I have experienced first hand the power of rowing to inspire, increase confidence, teach key skills, bring diverse groups of people together and increase activity and fitness. I am pleased to be able to bring my skills to the Love Rowing board and look forward to getting started.”
Trustee: Nick Steel
Nick is a chartered geologist and certified executive coach with a career in international upstream energy. He is now an advisor to energy companies, trustee and fundraising director for a charity supporting young adults with disabilities, executive and leadership coach, mentor, visiting lecturer, and adaptive rowing coach. Nick rows and sculls competitively; he is currently Maidenhead Rowing Club captain and the adaptive rowing representative on the Thames Regional Rowing Council.
Nick said: “I wanted to become a Trustee because the Love Rowing ethos of improving access to and inclusivity in our sport resonates with my values and purpose. I wish to support the foundation’s development and to get more folk onto the water (or ergos during these strange times) and to enjoy the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of our sport.”
Trustee: Richard Woods
Richard has spent the last 15 years in the charity sector working across front line services, policy, and fundraising. He has raised millions of pounds for NSPCC, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and more recently Onside Youth Zones – leading on a £6.5million state-of-the-art facility for young people in north London. Outside of work, Richard has spent the last 20 years as a rowing competitor and coach.
Richard said: “It’s a huge honour to have the chance to join Love Rowing, bringing together my professional and personal life for a sport that is very close to my heart. Rowing is an incredible sport that truly tests endurance, strength and flexibility and the chance to help in bringing this to new communities is incredibly exciting.”