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Fire-hit rowing club inundated with enquiries following Olympics
MARLOW Rowing Club has been swamped with youngsters wanting to join its ranks after the Olympics - but can not cope with the demand.
The disastrous fire which wrecked the club last year has left it struggling to accommodate so many new members.
It is embarking on a £2.4million fundraising campaign currently and has received 207 donations.
A total of £723,000 has been raised so far.
Club spokesman Lynne Moran said: "We have been inundated with over 100 responses to join the Junior Development Squad following the Olympic Games.
"This is great news and very encouraging that the Olympics has inspired so many people to take up the sport. Who knows some of these enquiries may well be our next British Olympic Champions of the future.
"The club is doing everything it can to support all new enquiries but we are somewhat restricted in our facilities following the catastrophic fire in August 2011 which literally destroyed our club."
Meanwhile young rowers have revealed the difficulties they are facing with the current problems resulting from the fire.
Ayomi Rajapakse, 16, from Well End, said: "The clubhouse is very crowded at the moment and the Olympics have meant that more people are joining and it’s going to be even more crowded.
"There are 34 girls on the junior team alone at the moment and we’re all having to squeeze into one changing room.
"We’ve got chemical toilets in the temporary changing rooms now though, which are better than the smelly portaloos we had at first."
Kristen Pearce, 13, from Chalfont St Giles, said: "It feels pretty tight at the moment because it’s very crowded so it will be better when we have some more space.
Louise de Ban, 13, from Maidenhead, said: "We have to sit in the gym in between sessions, like the rest of the club. It’s crowded but it means we have got to know other people in the club better."
Despite the difficulties, Josh Kent, 17, Berkhamstead, was bullish, saying: "We’re a top rowing club, so we’ve still got great coaches and team spirit and we’re training hard. We haven’t let it affect us."
To help the club's appeal visit www.marlowrowingclub.org.uk