A Bradford club has won £50,000 to help it to find the next Steve Redgrave.

Bradford Amateur Rowing Club (BARC), founded in 1867, is one of 30 clubs around the country taking part in Project Oarsome. The aim of the scheme is to introduce rowing to tens of thousands of youngsters from state schools who would not normally get the chance to enjoy it.

Under the scheme, the Bradford club has forged a link with nearby Salt Grammar School and 12-year-olds there have been given a chance to learn rowing after school. BARC members have been visiting the school since January to introduce the youngsters to the principles of rowing, and coaching them on rowing machines.

From now on, they will be coached at the club which has premises at Hirst Weir, Saltaire.

By the summer it is hoped the young rowers will be competing in regattas against other Project Oarsome crews from around the country. And on Sunday they are being given the chance to meet gold-medal winning rowing heroes Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent at an Oarsome event in Durham.

Stuart Ward, water safety adviser and an ex-president at BARC, who took up rowing in 1964, said: "Rowing isn't an elitist sport, but it has had that reputation. There is a lot of interest in it now because of the Olympics.

"Lots of children's sport is based around balls, and a lot of them are put off if they don't have ball skills."

He said the rowing club had to put in a lot of preparation in order to qualify for Project Oarsome.

In return the club has been rewarded with £50,000-worth of equipment for juniors.

Although most of the cash came from the Amateur Rowing Association, 25 per cent of it had to be raised locally, and BARC has been helped by Bradford Council, the Salt Foundation, the Baildon Mech-anics Institute and the Foun-dation for Sport and the Arts.

To find out more about rowing check out www.bradfordrow ing.co.uk or www.ara-rowing.org

Bradford Amateur Rowing Club is holding its spring regatta on Saturday, May 19, and an Open Day aimed at people new to the sport on Sunday, June 10.