Club goes for gold with new gym bid

Tony Wheel

Tony Wheel

First published in Wallingford

A NEW gym for Wallingford Rowing Club will help to cater for a waiting list of rowers inspired by sporting triumph in the Olympics.

The 300-strong Thames Street club has submitted its latest application to build a £300,000 gym to replace an old shed, its current base in the Cattle Market car park.

Following Team GB rowers’ medal success in the London 2012 Games, there is a growing waiting list for places for junior and adult rowers.

The club has now submitted a revised design by David Birkett Architects to South Oxfordshire District Council, after concerns were raised about the building’s height.

In the original design, the two-storey gym was 6.3 metres high but that has now been reduced to five metres.

Tony Wheel, 67, who has been coaching juniors at the club for the past 25 years, said it was hoped the new plans would meet the concerns that had been expressed about the scheme.

He added: “We have received a £50,000 grant from Sport England and £82,000 from the district council, on the understanding that there will be open use, with the gym facilities open to the community.”

Anyone who wants to comment on the planning application has to do so by Wednesday and the target decision date for district councillors is February 11.

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