Reading and Bann Rowing Clubs receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Congratulations to Reading Rowing Club and Bann Rowing Club who have both been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this week


Mayor of Reading, Clr David Stevens, a club member, doing his bit for the ‘Santa’s Fun Run 2020’, by sculling rather than running. He had help from his children, Annabel (bow) and Henry (3), and Club President, Andy Ciecierski (stroke)

Buckingham Palace announced earlier this week that Reading Rowing Club was among 241 recipients of this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS), together with Bann Rowing Club from Northern Ireland.

Reading RC was one of only 10 organisations in Berkshire to receive the award and one of four in Reading. It is uncommon for the QAVS to be awarded to sports clubs and extremely unusual for it to be received by a rowing club. This recognises the outstanding contribution that the rowing club makes to the town of Reading.

Formed in 1867, Reading RC has over 250 members and is styled as a ‘community amateur sports club’. It has a strong juniors section aimed at children from local schools, learn to row courses for adults wishing to experience the sport and a large masters’ section composed of rowers, male and female, from their 40s to their 80s. At the same time, Reading also hosts one of the British Rowing Start Centres which seeks to identify and train future Olympians.

The award is recognition that the club is run by enthusiastic volunteers who are dedicated to bring the sport to the widest possible audience.

Reading Rowing Club President, Dr Andy Ciecierski said: “It is a great honour to receive this Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The club has always been run by volunteers and this award is recognition to all those members, past and present, who have contributed to making it what it is today.

“We are a friendly community club, welcoming all to try the sport of rowing on one of the prettiest stretches of water in the country.”

Located in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Bann Rowing Club received their QAVS for ‘providing an inclusive, successful, well-equipped centre and for promoting and developing rowing’.

The club said on Twitter that they were “Very humbled to receive the Queens Award for Voluntary service! To all of our volunteer coaches, parents and committee members, we say a massive thank you. Without volunteers we couldn’t produce rowers who go on to do amazing things!”

Famous Bann alumni include single sculler legend Alan Campbell and brothers Richard and Peter Chambers, who both competed in the lightweight men’s four at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Chambers brothers won Olympic silver at Eton Dorney with Campbell winning a bronze to become Great Britain’s first Olympic medallist in the men’s single scull since 1928.