Stories – Project Ely

Act now and make Project Ely happen

Donate now to Project Ely to build a boathouse so extraordinary it can accommodate the drive and ambition of future squads. We need you to act now to build this boathouse and to secure the future of CUWBC. A home of our own was a dream five years ago – together we can make it a reality.

Donate Now

Or download the donation form.

Hear from our supporters as they explain why they are backing Project Ely

Rowing was an important part of my Cambridge life and was probably my first experience of real team work – I was a member of the CUWBC crew of 1969 which bumped mens boats in the Mays and we even rowed over one day. My daughter too enjoyed rowing while at Newnham, was a member of the crew that went Head of the River, and a member of the University Lightweights crew. I am grateful for the experience and that’s why I am supporting this appeal. If all of us who rowed gave even a little it would make such a difference – small amounts add up.

Sidney Syson née Welsh, Blue Boat 1969

I learned the real power of teamwork sitting in my first eight crew. The real power is the group belief that everyone pulling together can achieve their goals. I treasure that experience in my college boat club and count it as one of the most wonderful, fun and important experiences of my life. I would encourage all of us women to dig deep and be a part of Crew Giving. The time is now – there is a great urgency and a great opportunity. Pledges for The boathouse – our boathouse – are needed by July 2015. If we can secure the funds for it and ourselves and our fellow crews, we can get to the finish line. Let’s ensure that the next generation of rowers have the facilities that will prepare them for the races ahead! Please pledge now and give what you can – I am!

Pam Davis

My reasons for supporting the project are very simple. I enjoyed my rowing when I was up 1955/58. At that time there were very few of us and facilities were minimal or non-existent. I’m glad that more women now have better opportunities to train and develop their skills and I’m happy to contribute in small way.

Elisabeth Davies, CUWBC 1955-58

Towards the end of my first year at Cambridge, I took up rowing. It was the first sport I had participated in for years. The product of a non-sporty family and a school which removed sport, art, and music from the timetable of the academically inclined, I had become a couch potato. Rowing simply pressed all the right buttons for me, and it was the first time I had ever done well at any kind of sport. The feeling was truly liberating, and becoming part of CUWBC was the pinnacle of my time at Cambridge.

It is rather a cliché to write about “giving something back”. But my university career would have been indescribably poorer without rowing, both for my college and then CUWBC. Supporting the Ely Boathouse is an obvious way of achieving my desire to help others, perhaps too academic like I was, to have the chance to shine at sport. Being supremely physically fit, and part of a great team, does wonders for self-esteem. But what matters most is winning. Anyone who talks about the “taking part” is kidding themselves. I hope the facilities at Ely will help to produce the rowing winners from future generations of students.

Julie YoungJulie Young, Blue Boat 1980

CUWBC rowing has never stood still. Just as the standards of the Olympics continue to rise, so do the standards of university sport around the world, and we want to ensure that Cambridge women stay on top.

Cath Bishop, Blue Boat 1992-3

Studying at Cambridge was pretty special, but being a Cambridge rowing blue is the thing I’m most proud of. CUWBC is a club few get to join. Nothing gave me self-belief like rowing did – I think maybe it was the making of me. How do you put a price on that? That’s why I am supporting the next generation, and I can’t wait to see a wonderful new boathouse, and to have a paddle from it with light blue blades.

Fiona McAnenaFiona McAnena, Lightweight 1985

There are not many times in life when you can contribute to something that will be a game-changer for your sport or university. The new boat house at Ely will not only change the way the women of the future train and improve their day-to-day experience of rowing, but it will also change the way they are perceived rowers of any gender. It will be an empowering and transformational move for our club. We have talked about inequality for too long now; here is our chance to begin to level the playing field and support future generations to achieve great things on the water, to take their experience into the workplace and out in the world. I hope every rower who has ever competed for CUWBC will contribute whatever they can afford to make it happen.

Annamarie PhelpsAnnamarie Phelps, Blondie 1987

For more news on this exciting project, sign up to our newsletter.
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Ely Fundraising Progress

The scholar athletes of CUWBC need this facility to ensure that they can manage the demands of the intense training programme required to compete at the modern Boat Races. We want all our crews to beat Oxford and to maintain our lead.

Become a part of the future of CUWBC – Let’s build a boathouse together

Donate Now

Or download the donation form.