COASTAL rowers in Musselburgh enjoyed a Christmas social with a difference by taking the club’s annual fundraiser online.

The festive celebration attracted 30 members of Eskmuthe Rowing Club, who joined the Zoom call to enjoy three musical performances, party games, quizzes and a raffle.

The virtual event raised £370 for club funds.

David Lee, membership secretary, said: “We have had some really great social nights over the years and never expected this year’s to be online, but everyone pulled together and showed the fantastic spirit in the club.”

He added: “Throughout the year, we have found a way to come together – albeit virtually – to carry on having fun, keeping fit and supporting each other.”

Club members led keep fit classes on Zoom and then outdoors, while adhering to social distancing, and held regular online quiz nights.

The club has rowed when rules allowed and took part in a virtual row around Scotland organised by the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association (SCRA) – from Annan in Dumfries and Galloway and Paxton House on the Tweed in the Borders.

Georgina Brown, club captain, said: “Our section of the row around was from Fisherrow to Port Seton, so we wrote a piece on what we would see on this section of the Firth of Forth.

“We also did a video of our section when rowers took to their rowing machines and our creative members made a backdrop of the Forth. It was really good fun.”

The club joined forces with the Marine Conservation Society UK to organise a beach clean and survey of litter along the Fisherrow coast. This survey is now part of a study of beach litter around the UK.

Gaynor Allen, club chairperson, said: “We have always been a club which cares for its environment.

“We have been awarded a SCRA Green Flag for the work we do to collect litter from the sea and the land and for working with Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Water to help improve the water quality at Fisherrow.”

Like all sports clubs, Eskmuthe has worked hard to make the sport as safe as possible for members and has had more than three-quarters of its 55 rowers back on the water when it has been safe enough to do so – and organised a club survey to ensure people were happy with the rules and regulations to counter Covid-19.

Georgina added: “We have done our very best to make sure all rowers who were happy to row were safe to do so.

“We have also had requests from 12 new people to row with the club, but do not feel we should be taking new rowers out until we feel it is completely safe to do so.”