STAGING Poplar Blackwall and District RC Name New Boat - British Rowing

Poplar Blackwall and District RC Name New Boat


On Sunday March 1st, the members of Poplar Blackwall and District Rowing Club were delighted to be joined by the family of Joanna Brown, for the naming of their new women’s 8+, the Jo Brown.


In August 2008, Jo left London to go on a 3 week holiday to China, Mongolia and Russia, for the Beijing Olympics and the Trans-Siberian rail trip.  The Olympics lived up to all expectations and it would be difficult to imagine any supporter more enthusiastic than Jo when she watched the GB Mens lightweight double win their gold medals at the Shunyi rowing park in Beijing.

Having arrived in Russia via China and Mongolia, Jo and her friend Helen set out on a 20km trek along the shoreline of Lake Baikal in Siberia on Monday 25 August.  At one of the higher points on the path, Jo slipped and fell down the rock face, suffering fatal head injuries.  Jo died in hospital in Listvyanka, near Irkutsk, a short time later.

In her memory, her family have set up The Joanna Brown Trust, a charity that encourages participation in sport.  They have raised money through donations, the sale of cookbooks and badges, sponsored fun runs and the great north run and by organising sports memorabilia auctions etc.  They have been really excited about the first project that they have accomplished and were very proud to donate a new women’s 8+ to Poplar Blackwall & District Rowing Club.

Jo was a member of the club and she could often be found on the Thames early on weekend mornings. She loved rowing and her only regret was that she didn’t take it up earlier in her life.

On Sunday morning the club held a time trial over a course of 4.5 miles.  The girls who rowed in the boat for the first time felt very moved and proud to be rowing in the Jo Brown (and thought it fanatastic to row in a lighter boat with small shoes!!).  The first eight will be rowing in the new boat this weekend at the WeHORR.

Details of the Trust can be found at