Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club: Sponsor-A-Seat Campaign to raise money for the 2009 Henley Boat Races
You’re rowers at Cambridge, that sounds posh. We’ve seen your men on TV. How can you need money?
The Cambridge University Women rowers train extremely hard, but we have nowhere near enough sponsorship to cover even a fraction of the expenses associated with training or racing. The day-to-day costs of travel to and from Ely where we train every morning, kit, race entries, transport to and from races, accommodation etc. all fall heavily on the shoulders of the rowers, most of whom are undergraduates with already stretched student loans. This financial burden, estimated at £1,200 per trialling year (September to March), is paid personally by each athlete as the financial sacrifice for their sport their love of rowing and to represent their university in the boat race.
It seems to be working though; what is the problem?
On top of the day-to-day costs of rowing for Cambridge, the week leading up to the Henley Boat Races themselves represents a significant portion of this expenditure. Accommodation in Henley for the week leading up to the race, boating, racing kit, transport and other items directly related to the boat race cost each athlete a further £500. We already struggle to pay for the costs of training. so cannot hope to pay this for ourselves on top.
Therefore, CUWBC has launched a fundraising campaign called ‘Sponsor-A-Seat’. The idea is simple: each athlete is hoping to raise £500 to cover the costs associated with Race Week. We are hoping that family and friends of athletes, companies in around Cambridge and Henley or who feel an affinity with CUWBC, College funds and bursaries and others may be able to help us. CUWBC is wholly dependent on this generous support and we are extremely grateful for it.
What would I get out of it?
If you were so kind as to offer to help sponsor one of our athletes, your name or company’s name would feature on our website. Donations of £150 and above will have the donor mentioned in the official Henley Boat Races programme as well as featuring on the T-shirts worn by rowers in training. As our athletes are frequently undergraduates from a wide variety of backgrounds, these T-shirts will be visible on top-level athletes all over the country. Apart from this you would gain the immense gratitude of a whole club and the knowledge that you had made a great contribution to Women’s Rowing, no matter how small your donation. Every penny is greatly appreciated!
Are you eligible for Gift Aid?
Yes we are. Thorugh its affiliation with the University of Cambridge, donations to CUWBC via the Cambridge Foundation are eligible for gift aid. In practice, this means that for every pound you donate, we receive £1.28 which is a 28% gain! It also means that if you are a higher rate taxpayer, you can claim back for yourself the difference between the higher rate of tax at 40% and the basic rate of tax at 20% on the value of your donation.
Why should I help?
The financial burden of rowing for the University is a major deterrent for aspiring rowers and returning Blues. On race day, every individual in a rowing eight is vital. Thus, every athlete who decides not to trial is a small advantage to Oxford. If we do not succeed in our Sponsor-A-Seat campaign, it will leave a debt behind for future years of triallists to cope with. This will incur further costs, discourage more strong and able College rowers from trialling for the University, and will be extremely detrimental to our long-term campaign against the Dark Blues.
I want to help. What can I do?
First of all, thank you! For even reading this far you have done a service to our cause. If you would like to help, contact Anna Railton who is at six in the 2009 Blue Boat and in charge of Sponsor-A-Seat this year.
If you are a U.K. taxpayer, please make out cheques to ‘The Cambridge Foundation’ and fill in a Gift Aid form
If you are not a U.K. taxpayer, please make out cheques to ‘CUWBC’.
Cheques may be sent to: