Updated: Sep 2, 2021
Now that the dust has settled after a delayed and unusual end to the season at Henley, the 2019-20 committee are delighted to announce the newly elected Eden BC committee for 2021-22:
Chairperson - Matt Taylor Membership & Communications Director - Jodie Cameron Fundraising & Finance Director - Oscar von Hannover Outreach & History Director - Ed Woolgar Media & Publicity Director - Alice Thompson Racing & Competitions Director - Rob Colston Events & Supporters Director - Chris Furby
Over the past 6 years, since its inception, Ollie Negus has been President and, more latterly Chairperson, of Eden Boat Club. Throughout club restructuring, transitioning committees and the pandemic, Ollie has led Eden BC with a strong sense of purpose, autonomy and optimism. Eden Boat Club has grown from a small group of a dozen alumni to a network of over 200 members, from recent graduates to alumni of the 1970s, from parents to corporate donors; all with a shared vision and drive to support rowing at St Andrews. As with many alumni clubs, reflection and reminiscing are important and this moment encapsulates both the need for reflection and appreciation. Ollie Negus has been at the helm of Eden during Henley qualifier attempts, major fundraising drives and the passing of UStABC founder and talisman John Browne, serving with integrity and duty throughout.
Following his nomination, incoming Chairperson, Matt Taylor, lays out his vision for Eden BC going forward as he steps into the role:
"Over the past 6 years, Eden Boat Club has developed into a consistent, sustainable and welcoming community of friends united by their shared experiences and a single purpose; the mobilisation of demonstrable support to the University of St Andrews Boat Club and its rowers. I truly believe the success of this progression is a credit to the loyal individuals of the Club, visionary Committee members past and present and the committed leadership of Chairperson Ollie Negus.
I do not take it for granted that I am able to even write these words for the position, I shall always be exceptionally grateful for the experiences that I shared whilst a member of UStABC and the opportunities that arose due to them. It is my sincere hope that every single individual of UStABC shares that same journey, and in turn, Eden Boat Club is filled to the brim with individuals who recognise and acknowledge that they can accelerate and perpetuate this cycle through their support and their community. Since my graduation in 2019, I have held several positions that allow me to feel both comfortable and confident in asking for your vote for the Chairpersonship. As Fundraising & Finance Director for the past two years, I have led the creation of the Eden Fund, formalised its governance to ensure performance rowing at St Andrews is the sole beneficiary of any generosity and I instituted a stewardship policy that ensures every donation is recognised and appreciated. I am currently a member of the Board of Directors of Scottish Rowing, overseeing business and communications, and bearing witness to ensure that smaller programmes never get negated or overlooked, including St Andrews. For the past year, I was appointed as Scottish Student Rowing Chair, strategically leading the provision of University rowing in Scotland, allowing Club leaders to share practice and assist and advise Clubs on their development journey. Through these positions, I have noted how UStABC has developed a national reputation as a heavyweight for generating leaders and credibility for the way we run our two affiliated Clubs, indeed St Andrews’ name in the rowing world truly is becoming synonymous with a refreshing culture, innovative structures and ground breaking strategic planning - this is both a tremendous source of pride but also a source of responsibility, and it would be a privilege to further that legacy.
Following a unique, challenging, upsetting period for each of us, in different ways, we stand at the precipice of a ‘new normal’ and we look forward to an exciting and more optimistic year ahead. Next year, UStABC shall mark its 60th anniversary, representing an important milestone and a reminder to reflect on the remarkable evolution that John Browne envisioned 60 years ago. As Chairperson, I would seek to implement an ambitious yet achievable Diamond Strategy to mark this milestone, strategically growing to 610 members to allow many more individuals, alumni and supporters, to be a part of our special community and registering 60 Eden Fund donors who wish to give back to a Club that plays a formative role in countless individuals’ lives. We shall also mark the next year with a series of special events, including the hosting of the inaugural, flagship John Browne Memorial Dinner in March. This comprehensive strategy shall be realised through clear direction, specific target setting and monitoring at Committee level and a widespread desire by many individuals to break more records, realise potential and push our horizons.
Should I have the genuine privilege of being appointed as your next Chairperson of Eden Boat Club, I make two overarching, heartfelt commitments. First, the pillars and values that were enshrined nearly 60 years ago will remain at the forefront of the decision making process and at the core of our community; dedication, loyalty and a determination against adversity. Second, we shall do everything within our power to grow this community and mobilise more support of every means for rowers and Club leaders at the University of St Andrews Boat Club."
We wish the new committee and Matt the best of luck as they take up their roles.