ONE of the fastest rowing crews ever to come out of Monkton Combe School Boat Club returned to Bath for their 25-year reunion, and raised more than £3,000 for Parkinson’s UK in the process.

The team of nine, which included Olympic champions Rowley J Douglas MBE and Steve Williams OBE, took on a 1km rowing race for the charity because their former club head coach Julian Bewick is living with Parkinson’s.

Crew member Richard Britton explains: “25 years ago we were a proud bunch of 15-18-year-olds who'd worked hard all year to get the results that no one expected. We also had a canny coach who knew how to put fire in our bellies and make us believe.

“Our silver anniversary seemed the perfect time to reunite in Bath where it all began and take on crews from around the world to show we haven’t lost our touch and we’re still up for a challenge.

“Our Boat Club's secretary, trustee and all round coach and leader has been living very bravely with the challenge of Parkinson’s for longer than any of us care to remember. We want to make the future brighter for everyone affected by the condition and help the amazing scientists looking for a cure.

“The big tough challenges are the ones that take bravery and commitment to overcome. Parkinson’s can be beaten, but only with funds for important research.”

Three crews took part in the fundraiser, raising £3,344.

The crew, who were cheered on by Mr Bewick, presented a cheque to Melissa Rimmell, regional fundraiser for Parkinson’s UK.

Melissa said: “Thank you to the crew for their support and for hosting a fantastic event for us.

“As the UK’s Parkinson’s support and research charity, we are leading the way to find better treatments and ultimately a cure, but our work wouldn’t be possible without donations like these.”