Crossed blades for MP and Sports Minister at regatta
There was friendly rivalry on the riverside at Monmouth Regatta as England’s Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston and local MP David Davies cheered for their respective nation’s boats.
Mr Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire, was Wyeside to watch son Tyler, 16, and daughter Mackenzie, 13, race for Evesham RC, and he said the two-day event was brilliantly organised with a great atmosphere.
“Myself and David have got a bit of rivalry here between me supporting English boats and him the Welsh boats,” he added.
“My youngsters have been rowing for a few years now and they love it.
“It’s a great sport to do and coming out of lockdown it’s great to see so many out here being active.
“It’s fantastic to see regattas like this up and running again after two difficult years. People are enjoying themselves and the atmosphere is amazing.
“There’s that great community dimension, of people joining together in sport, which makes it special. And it’s in beautiful surroundings.”
He thanked rowing clubs across the nation for doing “a lot of good work in the pandemic”, holding online fitness sessions, competitions and charity challenges, and fundraising for Ukraine since then.
And he urged people to get involved in sporting activities to boost their physical and mental health.
“Sport is so good for that, and it’s really good fun as well,” he said.
“I’m here watching youngsters up to people in their 70s on the water and one of the great things about rowing is that you can participate at any age.
“Clubs across the country are making a real effort to get seniors on board.
“And you don’t have to be highly competitive, you can just get out and paddle, it’s just about having a bit of fun and staying healthy. And there’s a really good social side to it as well.”
He said there had been a dip in team sport activity since the pandemic and it was important to grow that again.
“It’s really important to get people active again, and it doesn’t have to be sport, it can be something like gardening or walking.
“But being active is so good for physical and mental wellbeing, its one of the best ways to protect against future pandemics.
“I’d encourage people to find a sport that suits them and get active, whether that’s parkruns where you can just walk round if you want, rowing or cycling, whatever.
“You don’t have to over-exert yourself, just be active and enjoy it.”
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