A constituted Club was formed in February 1998 and became both a Ltd Company and a Registered Charity in 2004 (Registered Charity No. 1107485)
HSS’s co founders, Tom Collins and John Broadhurst, had previously given life to the Headington School Oxford Boat Club which was established in 1991.
During HSOBC’s formative years, the Government’s Sportsmatch scheme provided 8 small single sculling boats constructed by George Harris Racing Boats of Iffley, Oxford. These small singles were built down to the size of the average 11 year old member of HSOBC at that time. Sports Match granted their award on the understanding that the grant found its way into the "Community" and was not solely used for a small minority.
These boats were, and still are, used on Hinksey Lake in Hinksey Park. This was made possible through the vacation of the Lake by The Oxford University Sailboard Club whose members used the lake for their training prior to moving to Farmoor Reservoir. That Club, very conveniently left sailboard racking in the south Oxford Community Centre which the little sculling boats perfectly.
The first "Community" youngsters to use these boats were children of City of Oxford Rowing Club members. Passers-by enquired at the Lakeside and Hinksey First School hosted Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell and others from the GB Olympic Squad as Hilary Davis, Tom & John introduced local youngsters to the sport.
In 1996 the name of Hinksey “Sculling School” was adopted by the group operating the training sessions on Hinksey Lake. The development at the lake was steady and a flow of young athletes of all ages, from the Community, began. Once competent, these athletes moved to The CORC on the Thames at Donnington.
In February 1998 Hinksey Sculling School was constituted as a Club in its own right.
In order that this “opportunity” should be available to all, HSS has concentrated, from the beginning, on gathering sponsorship funding to ensure that, having offered a child an opportunity, she/he should not be denied because of the family’s inability to pay club fees.
In this regard we have received Charitable Sponsorship in excess of £300,000 which has also enabled us to provide our members with the equipment needed for training & competition.
Having outgrown the facilities on the River Thames at the CORC, St Edwards School was approached with a request that they consider helping a young Community Club by allowing access to the river from their site. This was granted thus enabling HSS to maintain their “Nursery” at the Hinksey Lake site and begin a development squad at Godstow.
Approaching 20 years later we are now working on an embryonic 3rd site with the support of Radley College, so watch this space!
Today we have 146 athletes / members ... and we continue to offer bursaries to any athlete who needs support with the fees.