In 2003 the Club successfully applied to take part in the 'Project Oarsome' initiative. This is aimed at young people, especially those who may never have contemplated rowing as a sport. Project Oarsome is headed by British Rowing, the sport's governing body, which demands stringent criteria for participating Clubs. The rowing club has had to demonstrate that it is soundly constituted, has an active junior section and adequate training and changing facilities. Targets for an increase in qualified coaches must be met as part of the project and the Club now has 7 qualified coaches working with schools.
Consistent best-practice across the UK is gained by following the training and coaching plans of our successful Olympic team. Each Club must produce and follow a Junior Development Plan, specific to the Club and approved by British Rowing. Progress in the Club is based on participation and commitment, not on simple athletic prowess.
The Club is targeted for success over a seven-year period and an essential ingredient is an agreement with two local schools - St Chad's High School and Helsby High School committing to the development of the project. This has resulted in teachers at the school taking coaching qualifications and making grant support applications for further equipment. Club Juniors also attend the Heath School Runcorn, the Grange School Runcorn, the Grange School Hartford and King's School Chester.
To take part the Club had to find 25% of the costs (£14,000) from local sources. A generous donation from neighbouring Rocksavage Power and a full grant of £5,000 from the National Lottery's 'Awards for All' programme led the way, with other donations coming from Halton BC, Vale Royal BC, Helsby and Longden, Frodsham and Helsby Rotary and fundraising events held by the Club. This money then triggered the massive 75% funding provided via British Rowing and Henley Stewards' Charitable Trust.
Naomi Ashcroft who won a gold medal at the 2002 world championships in Spain, and an ex-Runcorn club rower, was the star guest at the launch as the new boats were unveiled in front of invited guests from sporting bodies, club sponsors, schools and local authorities.
The following years have seen pupils from Project Oarsome take part in the National Schools Championships and the UK National Junior Championships. In 2009 the Club was the most successful club in the Northwest for junior wins and the tenth most successful of all 165 clubs in the country.
2009 – 10 was the most successful season for Runcorn RC juniors in the Club's 116-year history with seven Club Juniors representing GB in international events.