Rowing club veteran Tony celebrates his half-century

Tony Roper is celebrating 50 years as secretary of Yare Boat Club. Tony Roper is celebrating 50 years as secretary of Yare Boat Club.

Saturday, March 2, 2013
6:30 AM

The secretary of a rowing club has been celebrating after reaching the landmark of 50 years in his role.

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Tony Roper is celebrating 50 years as secretary of Yare Boat Club.Tony Roper is celebrating 50 years as secretary of Yare Boat Club.

Tony Roper has been secretary of Yare Boat Club, based on Thorpe Island in Thorpe St Andrew, since March 1 1963.

Mr Roper, who lives in Eaton, started rowing in 1956 when he was attending Norwich School, racing in fours and singles.

After two years as club captain in 1961 and 1962 Mr Roper was elected as secretary at the AGM of the Yare Rowing Club, as the club was then called, on March 1, 1963.

Mr Roper, 71, still uses a custom-built sculling boat which he bought for the costly sum of £150 in the mid-1960s.

Talking about how his role has evolved throughout the years, Mr Roper said: “Looking back to that time obviously there were limited communications – a lot of club members did not even have a telephone at home and all club notices and news were given out by hand or by post.”

In March 2000 Mr Roper was awarded a Broadland Sports Award for significant contribution to the sport.

Mr Roper added: “Last year we again had a big increase in membership after the excellent TV coverage of Olympic rowing and sculling. I still get great satisfaction from sculling and coaching complete beginners.

“The Yare Boat Club is a very friendly club and we are always pleased to welcome new members and teach beginners of any age from 16 upwards.”

For more information about the club, email info@yareboatclub.org or go to www.yareboatclub.org

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