Female rowers struggling to compete as their club’s boats are made for men have made a heartwarming video comparing their petite hands and feet with those of their male counterparts.

Despite being founded in 1875 women didn’t start rowing at Northwich Rowing Club until the late 1970s.

The club now has 100 female members – the same amount as men – but despite this the club doesn’t have a boat specifically designed for women, something which they say means they can’t train on an equal level to the men.

Desperate to keep rowing, the female members of the club, aged between 13-70, have made a heartfelt video in a bid to win £15K from Active Cheshire towards a boat made especially for them.

The video, which to date (January 14) has had 5,700 votes, shows the women of the club, including Team GB’s Lucy Burgess, exercising by the River Weaver and comparing their hands, feet and height to the male rowers saying “we’ve got a problem”.

The women have been trying to rally votes by posting the link to the video on social media using the hash tag #thisgirlcan – a Sport England campaign which aims to encourage women of all sizes and fitness levels to enjoy sport.

Captain Rachel Hooper said: “We want our women to be able to aspire to race at the same level as our me, but in order to do that they need equipment that’s actually designed for women.

“A new boat and blades costs in excess of £15,000 but with a grant from the Active Anywhere Fund we could buy a boat that would give women and girls the opportunity to train and race specifically with them in mind, and rowing boats last a long time, we’re talking about a piece of equipment that will still be in use in 20 years

“So please vote for us, not only to help our current female members reach their potential but also to help the women and girls who will join our club in the future.”

To vote for Northwich Rowing Club for the prize visit the Active Cheshire website.

The Active Cheshire bid

Energetic schools and community groups are currently competing to get their hands on bundles of cash to promote fitness.

The bid is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the not-for-profit sporting charity, which promotes sport and wellbeing in Cheshire and Warrington.

Community groups, fitness fanatics and schools are bidding for three prizes, one of £15,000, one of £5,000 and five of £1,000 from the Northwich-based charity.

To win they have to submit a video of their plans to the website and wait for the public to vote for their proposals, the top three in each category get through to a judging panel. We can exclusively reveal there could be a wildcard in each category.

The shortlist will be announced in the first week of February and the winning three will be announced by February 28.

Mark Banford, of Active Cheshire, said: “There is an opportunity for a wildcard for each category which the judges believe is an innovative project but has not had the same reach.

“One might get a lot of votes but the judges might not think it is the most affective.”

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