GRANGE School Rowing Club reached the final of the prestigious British Rowing Awards in two categories.

Colin Ratcliffe was shortlisted for the Volunteer of the Year honour, having been announced as the north west winner in December, while the boys J16 quadruple sculling crew of Charlie Goodman, Abdelrahman Farag, Gus Goode and Eamonn Timmons-Williams was shortlisted for the Junior or School Crew of the Year prize.

A record number of entries were received for awards that were established to celebrate the people, clubs and crews from across the rowing community, highlighting that being shortlisted was a significant achievement.

“I am thrilled that Colin is the north west regional winner of the Volunteer of the Year,” said Gareth Ireland, director of rowing at the Grange School.

“This award rightly recognises his phenomenal effort and the dedication he has provided the club with for 18 years.

“He does this alongside a team of other committed volunteers, and I am truly grateful for the support they give us.”

Ireland, who was a member of the GB Rowing team between 1995 and 2002, added: “The shortlisting for the boys J16 quadruple crew is worthy recognition of their achievements and testament to their hard work, resilience and an unwavering commitment to the sport.

“Our rowing programme at the Grange School is going from strength to strength and I am proud to have them as role models for our 150 strong club of rowers.”

Ratcliffe began as a volunteer coach with GSRC in 2006, showing an invaluable set of skills.

He is a true craftsman, carrying out work to ensure the club’s rowers train and race in superbly maintained boats.

His dedication in maintaining and repairing the fleet enabled rowers to row 64,350 training km in the 2022–2023 season alone.

Alongside his work at the Boathouse at the River Weaver he also loaded 336 boats and towed them 3,932 miles around the country for the events attended by the school’s rowers.

There is much gratitude and affection for Ratcliffe throughout the club both from present and past rowers.

His commitment to the club was recognised by the school in 2023 when he was awarded the Day Cup for outstanding contribution to school life.

The boys J16 quad were in a very competitive category with nine crews shortlisted from the many nominees.

The shortlisting recognises the significant progress this crew have achieved since forming in 2021, with a number of wins enjoyed across the year.

The Grange School’s boat club was established in 1985 and is located on a five-kilometre stretch of The River Weaver in Acton Bridge.

Pupils are introduced to the sport in year seven when they start on indoor rowing machines before progressing to being coached in boats on the river in the summer of year eight.