HEREFORD Rowing Club has suffered a disastrous season with flooding ruining their clubhouse and boats before the coronavirus stopped any training or competition.

Despite this the club are coming together to raise funds for the NHS in Hereford and to repair the flood damage.

They are aiming to walk, run, cycle and indoor row the 7,623 kilometres between their Hereford home and Hereford in Texas, USA.

Several members of the rowing club are on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus and club captain Jason Lee said members wanted to raise funds for the NHS while helping to repair the rowing club.

"We have had great cohesion across the club members who have come together to raise as much money as we can for the NHS and the rowing club," said Lee

"We set up a Wattsapp group and about 40 club members and their families have signed up and are logging how far they walk, run, cycle and indoor row.

"We wanted to do something positive and get everybody together and keep the club cohesion together while doing what's right for the club and Hereford's NHS who are doing a great job.

"Nigel Fraser, who heads the junior rowing coaching is a GP and several member's parents are consultants, doctors or nurses.

"A lot of our members are contributing a lot and are being very brave and supporting Hereford."

The rowing club has been flooded twice during the winter which has caused between £30,000 and £40,000 worth of damage.

The February flood saw boats damaged while the boiler system and the disabled lift broke, the electrics blew and the flood caused a gas leak.

"This has been the worst season ever, we had the bad weather and then the coronavirus," added Lee.

"The flooding meant that a lot of our boats had to get repaired and also the river has been too high for most of the year.

"It was really terrible and devastating for the club. We got a £10,000 grant from Sport England but the repairs are probably looking at £30,000 to £40,000 due to the water damage and we are doing our best to reverse that.

"So February was a write-off and so in March we were just about to get on the water when Covid-19 hit.

"Typically, the weather conditions for most of March would have been perfect for rowing but the club has been in lockdown.

"We also can't have people working on repairing the flood damage as we couldn't have people touching the same areas.

"After the last flood we had another six boats damaged which has been sent off to be repaired.

" The company that fixes them has gone into lockdown so they can't yet fix the boats which will mean a further delay.

"But we want to get people back at the club one month or so after we are allowed to open.

"Two years ago we spent £30,000 on solar panels to help the club become greener.

"For the panels you have to have a converter box and that went under water and was found on fire following the flood in February.

"So we will have to find an expert to replace that also which could cost £2,000 or £3,000."

For more information about their fundraising challenge click HERE