Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Chairman denies elitism

THE chairman of Henley Royal Regatta has denied that the rowing is elitist.

THE chairman of Henley Royal Regatta has denied that the rowing is elitist.

Sir Steve Redgrave, who is presiding over his first regatta this week, was questioned on the BBC’s Today programme on Wednesday.

He was asked for his reaction to criticisms that the sport favours the well-off.

Sir Steve replied: “The reality is that I went to a comprehensive school. I wasn’t able to race here as a schoolkid because there was only one event for juniors at that time and it was school eights and the school I went to couldn’t produce eight people to row so I never had that opportunity but that has changed.

“The fact is, even throughout my rowing career, and I started in the very hot summer of 1976, is that wherever there is a bit of water that’s rowable — a lake, a river, a canal — there is a rowing club and a rowing community of some sort and all sorts of different backgrounds. It’s just here at Henley it seems to have this image that you have to go to a certain school or a certain university to be able to get here â?? that’s not the facts.”



Meanwhile, Sir Steve’s old partner Sir Matthew Pinsent, now a steward at the regatta, wrote on Twitter: “Henley stewards have arranged, due to the hot weather, that the competitor showers will be cold this year. We think of everything. #injoke.”

Asked about this by a radio interviewer, he said: “It’s an in-joke. The showers at Henley have always been cold and for the first time in 100 and something years today it makes sense... it will be great that the showers are cold.”



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