Graham Henderson – unsung hero of Worcester RC

West Midlands Volunteer of the Year 2008 – Graham Henderson

Graham is one of the unsung heroes of Worcester Rowing club.  For almost 10 years he has helped other club members in anything they have tried to do, be it day-to-day rowing, regattas or social events.

Graham is the club’s Project Oarsome co-ordinator, and works closely with the Community Sports Coach during both the dry start and wet start activities.  He is endlessly patient with the Junior athletes, and is there to help them on and off the water day in, day out, come rain or shine.  It is due in no small part to Graham’s dedication and enthusiasm that the kids keep turning up with smiles on their faces.  He helped their Children in Need fund-raising ideas come to life last year and inevitably was the one who went round collecting the money they raised.

For the past two years Graham has been the Boathouse manager.  His careful maintenance and swift repairs have kept the fleet in tip-top condition, saving the club money and keeping us on the water.  If a boat needs delivering or collecting from repair, it’s Graham that does the job.  Graham’s efforts also ensure that the coaching launches are always serviced and there’s plenty of petrol to hand.  He arranges the servicing of the trailers, and often finds himself towing them to races too.  He was one of the stalwarts who towed a full trailer to Italy for the 2007 training camp, and he has even towed for the University of Worcester rowing club as they don’t have any members who can tow.

When the river is on its way up, Graham is the first person to be in the boathouse moving and securing boats to prevent losses, and once the water recedes, he’s the first person there with a broom in hand to clear away the mud.  He also makes sure there’s milk in the fridge for tea at the weekend!

Somehow, Graham still manages to find time to row, but is as unselfish here as he is with everything else – if there’s one too many to go in the boat, he’s the first to offer to step out.

Graham’s dedication as a volunteer and supporter to athletes at all levels in the club is an inspiration to us all, and he is fully deserving of an award so that he can be appreciated not only by the Worcester members but by those outside the club too. Graham was Captain for two seasons from 2004 to 2005, and was a supportive Vice Captain to the two Captains before that.

Worcester Rowing Club

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