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14 Jul 2022

Up to the Challenge: Trafford Rowing Club to take on The Bridgewater Canal

Twenty rowers from Trafford Rowing Club will be rowing the entire length of The Bridgewater Canal this July, in order to raise money to support their club and community.

Taking place over 25th and 26th July, the rowers taking on the challenge, who span from the ages of 14 to 66, will row along the 65km (39 mile) Bridgewater Canal. The club members are aiming to become the first people to ever scull the entire length of The Bridgewater Canal which stretches from Runcorn to Leigh.

The club is in need of a new trailer to transport boats to and from competitions. With a target of raising £1000, the club will split the money raised, with 50% being used for the trailer and 50% being donated to various charities selected by participants including The Alzheimer’s Society and The Christie

Located on the Bridgewater Canal at Walton Park Sports Club in Sale, Trafford Rowing Club is a small community club that has been encouraging rowing in the local community since 1957 and now has over 180 members. Aged just 14, Florence Whistance will be the youngest club member to take on the challenge, however as the Northwest Champion in her age category she is well prepared for the event. On the other end of the spectrum is Ben Shaw who at the age of 66 is a great example of how rowing is a lifelong sport.

Graham Whistance, Chairman of Trafford Rowing Club said: “Community is at the heart of Trafford Rowing Club and we’re really excited to take on the challenge to raise funds to support our club and for the charities which have supported us and our loved ones. The Bridgewater Canal is our home and although the challenge will be tough, we have been training hard and we’re excited to take it on.”

The theme of community runs throughout the canal challenge, with more communities offering their support and involvement to Trafford Rowing Club to help them with their challenge. Wat Phra Singh Buddhist Temple in Runcorn and Leigh Miners Welfare Institute have both offered the use of their car parks at either end of the Bridgewater Canal for the rowers to use as a base during the challenge.

On how the challenge idea came about, Graham added: “A couple of us got talking about rowing the entire length of The Bridgewater Canal earlier in the year and decided we had to give it a go. This has now grown to 20 people wanting to take on the challenge plus the help of additional members. We have done scoping missions and whilst there are some narrow sections which for unstable sculling boats are likely to be a bit scary, we all agree it is part of the challenge and we’re excited to take it on!”


Peter Parkinson, Director of The Bridgewater Canal, Part of Peel L&P said: “The Bridgewater Canal is all about connecting up communities and we are committed at Peel L&P to help bring communities together to support one another. We wish Trafford Rowing Club the best of luck with their challenge and The Bridgewater Canal will provide an impressive backdrop, serving as an accessible, inclusive and scenic location for both the challenge and the supporters coming down to cheer on the rowers.”

For those wanting to come down and support the rowers, the challenge is split over two days:

On Monday 25th July at 09:00 the rowers will row from Runcorn to the Trafford Rowing Club boathouse in Walton Park, Sale.

On Tuesday 26th July at 09:00 the rowers will row from Leigh to the Trafford Rowing Club boathouse in Walton Park, Sale. 

For support and donations, Trafford Rowing Club’s Go Fund me page can be found here