The OUBC Trust with UK Charitable status, dedicated to the support of Oxford rowing, is leading an initiative to provide regular funding for five Oxford University crews competing against Cambridge annually in the Henley Boat Races.
The Men’s Lightweight Blue Boat and Nephthys
The Women’s Blue Boat and Osiris
The Women’s Lightweight Blue Boat
The Endowment Fund
1975 saw the start of the Men’s Lightweight competition against Cambridge, while 1984 saw the first race for the Lightweight Women. Since 1927 Oxford Women have competed annually against Cambridge. In 1966 the Women's reserves (Osiris) first competed against Blondie (the Cambridge reserves)
The Heavyweight Men (OUBC), through the Boat Race, have enjoyed the financial benefits of global television cover, media sales and event sponsors, but the other Blues who race against Cambridge have not been able to draw on financial support in the same way.
The intention of the OUBC Trust is to rectify this anomaly by building an Endowment fund of £1.5 million, the annual interest from which can be drawn down to fund ongoing expenses. The Fund will be made up of four segments:
- General Endowment
- OULRC specific
- OUWBC specific
- OUWLRC specific
This structure will deliver equal portions from the General Fund, while allowing the individual clubs to fundraise from their constituents and others, for their specific needs.
The Funds will be managed and administered by the OUBC Trust and appointed Fund Managers.
The need for regular funding
For too long, pressure on the Clubs to raise funds as well as to compete at the highest level has been growing. Current fundraising falls primarily to squad members who are already required to balance academic pressures alongside the commitment required from high-level sport. These Oxford crews have a fantastic track record against Cambridge, and on several occasions recently have produced a clean sweep in the Henley Boat Races. They have provided Great Britain and other countries with World Championship rowers and medallists. Maybe 2008 will bring an Olympic medal too? The Oxford Clubs row from various locations near and not so near to Oxford. They have never had their own permanent base. Their annual income is so small that athletes have to fund themselves to the tune of several thousand pounds a year, hust to compete for Oxford. These costs have in some instances caused hardships, but have led to a determination second to none. Now is the time for change.
Annual costs are made up of coaching, transport, training camps and equipment, amounting to approximately £35,000 per Club. The interest from the Endowment Fund should reduce this cost by well over 50%. The athletes will continue to find funds to compete, but the pressure on them will be reduced substantially.
The newly-opened OUBC Fleming Boat House at Wallingford is now in full use, and OUBC has offered to share the facilities with the Women and Lightweights; so by 2009 all Oxford’s representative crews could be boating from the same venue. Attractive as this would appear, additional costs e.g. transport to Wallingford, will accrue to the Clubs, which will be addressed in some part by Endowment.
How to Give
Using the forms (found here), donations made by Gift Aid through the OUBC Trust are tax efficient for UK taxpayers. Sponsorship can be treated as a business expense. Donations from the USA can be made via the US Offices of Oxford University, requesting the OUBC Trust as the beneficiary.
Gifts can be directed, at the discretion of the OUBC Trustees, to any one of four funds:
- General Endowment (All Clubs Equally)
Further, you may request specific support or sponsorship for:
- Coaching costs
- Training expenses including training camps
- Racing expenses e.g. entries, trailer costs
- Transportation (crew minibuses)
- Costs relating to use of the Boat House
Please give generously, and receive the on-going thanks of past, present and future Oxford rowers.
For further information contact Richard Fishlock at:
Endowment for Oxford Rowing
T: 01865 310319
E: endowmentcampaign [at] gmail [dot] com