Parliamentary Boat Race to rename and expand

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rowing has renamed the Parliamentary Boat Race and is to grow its annual charity event.

Members of the Group yesterday agreed to name the event the Parliamentary Charity Regatta, reflecting an increase in the number of races and boats taking part.

An expanded format will allow the Group to encourage more people to take part, and the Group is seeking to involve more youth rowers and a specific development race for those new to the sport.  In parallel with the increased scale, the Parliamentary Charity Regatta will seek to more than double the amount of money it has raised in recent years to £20,000.

The Group’s Chairman and Captain of the House of Commons boat, Hendon MP Dr Matthew Offord said “I am very pleased we have been able to find an expanded format that allows the Group to promote rowing more widely, particularly to young people, and raise more money for rowing charities.  The name change better reflects the increased scale and its purpose as a fundraising event and I am very much looking forward to the next few years as we put the new programme in place and hopefully achieve our £20,000 charitable target.”

Group Co-Chairman and Lords Captain, Lord Thomas of Gresford said “for 10 years, the Parliamentary Boat Race has been a calendar event for Members of both Houses of Parliament to take to the water and raise money for good causes.  With those foundations solidly in place, it is only right we look to do more with it, and I welcome the opportunity to invite more people to the Palace of Westminster for the Parliamentary Charity Regatta, whether they enter through the door or from the water.”

The 2017 Parliamentary Charity Regatta will take place on July 10 with races ending at the House of Lords and the final race between a boat of Lords against a boat of MPs.  The preferred format is expected to be in place in 2018, if not this year, with races announced beforehand.

To get involved with the Parliamentary Charity Regatta 2017 and to join the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rowing, visit the website: www.parliamentaryrowing.org.