All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rowing Reformed

Parliament’s All-Party Group for Rowing has been re-established after the sad passing of its previous Honorary Secretary Robin Hulf.

The Group, comprising Members of both Houses of Parliament and non-Parliamentary Associate Members, has the singular purpose “to support the sport of rowing both within Parliament and outside” and will meet regularly when Parliament is sitting.  It holds an annual Boat Race between Members of the two Houses to raise funds for charity and will operate between public activities to encourage more people to get into rowing and promote the sport to Parliament and the Government.

At a recent Extra-Ordinary General Meeting, the following Peers and MPs were elected as Group Officers:

  • Matthew Offord MP (Co-Chairman and Registered Contact);
  • Lord Thomas of Gresford (Co-Chairman);
  • Sir Edward Leigh (Co-Chairman);
  • Sir Peter Bottomley MP (Co-Chairman);
  • Rebecca Pow MP (Co-Chairman);
  • Angus MacNeil MP (Co-Chairman); and
  • Jim Fitzpatick MP (Secretary)

Mark Ramsdale of MR Sport has been appointed the Group’s new Honorary Secretary.  Ramsdale delivers other Parliamentary Groups, including those for golf and rugby league.

On making the announcement, Lord Thomas of Gresford said “we were deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague Robin Hulf.  He will be missed.  But move on we must and I am delighted the Group has been reformed and reinvigorated.  I have known Mark Ramsdale for some time and have been impressed with how the Groups he supports have flourished.  I am looking forward to this Group doing even more to support rowing in Parliament.”

Hendon MP Dr Matthew Offord spoke for members of the House of Commons.  He said “a Parliamentary Group for Rowing is vitally important to help a sport that produces some of the world’s best rowers, some of whom will be in action in Rio this summer.  More people should have the opportunity to take to the water and those of us in Westminster who row and enjoy the sport should be doing what we can to ensure the sport continues to grow.”

Newly-appointed Honorary Secretary Mark Ramsdale added, “I am honoured to be taking on the role of Honorary Secretary to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rowing.  I knew Robin and he will be missed.  The foundations for the new format are in place and I hope those who row and are fans of the sport will see even more activity and look to get involved.”