London Youth Rowing’s (LYR) flagship programme, Active Row provides over 8000 young people in 76 schools across London with indoor rowing machines, full time coaches and access to on-water rowing thanks to funding from Sport England and Tideway.

Walworth Academy are new to the Active Row programme this year. The indoor rowing club participants have all competed at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships and a local Active Row borough competition.

Community Coach, Isobel runs the Walworth Academy indoor rowing club, along with those at 10 other schools. She spent some time interviewing the clubs’ Year 7 participants who have just completed their six hours of free on-water rowing sessions with LYR at Surrey Quays Watersports Centre.

Think back to your first rowing experience. How would you have answered these questions?

How have you found rowing?

What have you learnt?

Would you recommend to a friend?

Has rowing helped you become more active?

What would you like to do with rowing in the future?

What is your favourite rowing experience so far?

Daniella Yeboah:

I have found rowing very exciting and I have had an amazing opportunity in improving my skills.

I have learnt how to be resilient and keep trying.

I would recommend rowing to my friends as it is fun.

Rowing has made me improve my well-being.

I would like to do on-water competitions and more competitions on the ergo.

I enjoyed the teamwork and the effort. And I liked it when people fell in.

Above: Daniella, finding the catch easy!

Abdul Yeboah:

I have found rowing very fun and I would hate to have to say bye.

I have learnt how to move forward in the boat

I would recommend it to my friends.

It has made me even more active.

I would like to enter more competitions.

My favourite bit was when I fell in the water!

Above: Abdul learning with Coach Lawrence

Kalie Kamara:

I found rowing really fun.

I learnt how to feather the blade and square the blade.

They teach you how to row and you also get to race each other and have a lot of fun.

Rowing has helped me become more active.

If I don’t become a footballer, I will try and become a rowing professional.

I’ve liked watching people falling in and working as a team.

Richmond Bamfo:

I have found rowing very fun and life changing.

What I have learnt most is confidence on the water.

I would definitely recommend it to my friends.

I want to become a rowing champion and bring my kids to try in the future.

My favourite rowing experience was my first week when I fell in 5 times.

Jevaughn Rowe:

I have found rowing very exciting, funny and nervous because I thought I was going to fall in, but being on the water is great.

I have learnt how to be confident in rowing.

I would definitely recommend this to friend at school because it is really exhilarating and very exciting.

I am more active, because I want to go to the gym more and more everyday.

My best memory is when I fell in the water and my friend fell in twice on his first go and everybody got soaked.

Above: Jevaughn, Richmond and Kalie taking it in turns in the boat

Sarah Isaleye:

I found rowing very fun.

The thing I’ve learned the most is how to turn the boat.

I would recommend it to my friends because it is a very fun sport to be able to experience.

I am more active, because I would normally be on my laptop and now I would like to row everyday.

I would like to do more water rowing because it’s fun.

My favourite memory is when me and my friends were working together as a team.