Officials of the Exmoor-based Wimbleball are struggling to attract new members to their club which they believe is, in part, due to their remote location and the attractions that other sporting organisations in the region are able to offer.
Club official Richard Ansell explained: “As a club we need as much publicity as we can get as we are currently struggling to get new members.
“When new people turn up we then find it difficult to retain them. I think the club knows the reasons for this but the remoteness of the lake is clearly a major factor despite it being a wonderful place to row.”
As part of discussions about membership at the club, the issues all sports organisations in rural areas face was also addressed.
Ansell is also vice chair of Minehead and West Somerset Swimming Club and he confirmed that they are finding it hard to get swimmers to join and remain with the club. As a result they have had to drop out of the Cotswold Series of galas because they could not field a full or competitive team and those swimmers wanting competition have had to move on to bigger clubs.
At Wimbleball their competitive junior rowers have found themselves in a similar position and have had to link up with other clubs to enable them to access the events and crews they need.
Ansell’s daughter, Becky, has had to resort to joining the Fowey-based Castledore Rowing Club – not the easiest place to get to from Minehead for a training session!
Minority sports such as rowing can’t compete with the major team sports such as football, rugby, hockey and cricket in West Somerset and Ansell is interested in hearing from other sporting clubs who are facing the same problems
Ansell is sure that West Somerset isn’t the only area experiencing these issues and asks anybody wishing to discuss the problem further to contact him via: firstname.lastname@example.org