Fulham Reach Boat Club (FRBC) successfully hosted a special preview screening of the much-anticipated film The Boys in the Boat, directed by George Clooney, on Saturday 6th January at the iconic Riverside Studios. The event, attended by over 200 guests, aimed to raise awareness for FRBC’s charitable endeavours, particularly its commitment to providing opportunities for all through rowing.
The Boys in the Boat, a film based on The New York Times bestselling novel by Daniel James Brown, tells the true story of a group of young men who, 88 years ago, found the opportunity to excel and triumph over adversity through rowing. The event was a pre-screening, with the official release scheduled for the 12th of January, making it a unique and exclusive experience for all in attendance.
The diverse audience included FRBC’s junior rowers, members, coaches, staff, volunteers and supporters, along with esteemed guests such as Team GB Rowers and Olympic medal-winners Tom Ransley, Zac Purchase, Tom Solesbury, Cameron Nichol, and Seb Pearce. Notable figures from sports bodies like Sport England, British Rowing, Love Rowing, Para Rowing Foundation, as well as Hammersmith and Fulham councillors Florian Chevoppe-Verdier and Mayor Patricia Quigley, were also in attendance.
AJ an FRBC Junior rower said, “This film has made me realise how much of a family I have at rowing. No matter what your background you can find people that you love and do what you love with. I’ve made a very big family here, I’ve got so many friends and enjoy going to FRBC all the time, so thank you all”.
“It was great to be invited to the preview of ‘The Boys in the Boat’ by Fulham Reach Boat Club, who do fantastic work on the Tideway – helping to broaden the reach of our sport,” said Tom Ransley, Rio 2016 Olympic Gold Medallist and Editor of Row360. “It was a fantastic evening and brilliant to see rowing get the Hollywood treatment.”
At the heart of FRBC’s mission is an inclusive, community-driven approach to providing opportunities for all, encapsulated by their founding mission of “Rowing for All.” This mission is particularly relevant given the challenges of social inequalities and the Centre for Social Justice’s recent report warning against the UK slipping into a Victorian-style tiered society.
As FRBC celebrates its 10th Anniversary, the charity continues to challenge societal inequalities by adopting an “inch wide, mile deep approach.” This involves working locally to build a stronger community, providing access to sport and the river for underserved populations, and addressing environmental concerns related to the river.
The charity’s impactful initiatives over the last 10 years have supported over 10,000 children and young people, and the achievements of the past year were highlighted during the event, including support for 866 children and young people through the state school rowing programme, a 37% growth in the holiday Free Water Sports Week, and the success of Boats Not Bars a prison rehabilitation program recognised nationally with a Sports Innovation Award. In addition to being shortlisted for the British Rowing’s Club of the Year and Project of the Year Award.
The event concluded with opportunities to meet the Olympians and share anecdotes from the movie, fostering a sense of community engagement and support for FRBC’s impactful work.