A rowing club aiming to get talented youngsters to the 2016 Olympics has been saved from closure after being thrown a cash lifeline.

The Oxford Falcons, which is coaching young oarsmen and women to represent Team GB, was almost sunk when last year's floods wiped out its entire summer training and competition programme.

But now the club, which is aiming to get children aged 11 and above on to its Falcons Olympic Progression course, has been saved by an £1,800 grant from Princes Risborough Rotary Club and is now looking to recruit more young people.

The Falcons, based close to Donnington Bridge, lost half its junior members in 2007 because its rowers were not allowed out on the Thames due to the strength of the current.

Chairman Peter Travis said: "Last year the summer programme was totally wiped out and this has never, ever happened to us before.

"It looked as if the cost of last summer's floods linked with the general tightness of funds would have meant this long standing summer event would have been lost permanently."

"This grant has saved the day.

"Everyone's delighted with the money. After the floods it's like starting from scratch again this year. We've probably lost more than half of our junior members because of the floods.

"All we could do last year was dry rowing on machines which doesn't give you the experience you get from being on a river and the children lose interest. Now we have a bright future again."

The club, which teaches sculling and kayaking to children in state schools as part of a national push for rowing to shed its elitist image, is now hoping to get talented athletes with a record of sporting achievement along to its taster sessions on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings.

Two of its rowers Lucy Greehy, 13, and Eleanor Rose,14, won first place at the national kayak sprints in Nottingham last month.

Cath Greehy, junior kayak club coordinator and mother of Lucy, said: "We couldn't do anything last summer. It was pretty disastrous. We couldn't bring on any new rowers for the 2016 Olympics.

"The 2012 Olympics will come too soon for many of our youngsters, but this money is a real lifeline to get the children we're working with the chance to compete in the Olympics in 2016."