Through 'Active Row', London Youth Rowing work with 76 State Secondary Schools to give 8000 young people the best opportunity to get active and improve their life skills, through indoor and on-water rowing.

What was appealing about supporting the Active Row programme?

I’m really passionate about ‘sport for all’. I think rowing sometimes gets labelled as very elite, but I learned to row at a normal local club. I went to row with my sister, with loads of volunteers to help me out. People giving up their free time to help me out, led to me being an international rower. It’s really important that Sports People who have experienced that try and give back. I want to try and do that as much as I can, especially in London. There’s so many opportunities out there for kids to learn different sports, so if I can help even a tiny portion of those people, then I’d support every single time.

Why is rowing a great sport for getting everyone involved?

Rowing mostly needs multiple people to go and do it. No, it’s not like kicking a football around, but once you’ve found a club and the opportunities, you can get a group of people together, come down to the club and take part. There are boats, there are volunteers, and there are great schemes like London Youth Rowing out there to facilitate that. There’s no better feeling than being in a rowing boat. It teaches communication, teamwork, being on time – you can’t let other people down. I think all of those aspects makes rowing amazing. And, they get to see the city from a completely different perspective.

What is London Youth Rowing doing that is so important for the future of the sport?

There’s nothing else out there like London Youth Rowing. Sometimes people take for granted that there’s lots of rowing clubs. But, they’re mainly based in South West London. London Youth Rowing work a lot in East London, supporting kids outside of traditional rowing areas. It does cost money to join a club and buy the kit, so having a charity to help is amazing. It gets people in a boat who would otherwise never ever have stepped foot in one. That’s the main thing; the kids can make their own minds up after that, but giving them that opportunity is priceless. I think it’s a really important charity to support.

What would you say to somebody who was thinking of trying rowing?

Doing things that make you a bit nervous are sometimes the best things for us. You might realise you’re amazing at it, or you might realise you’re just having really good fun doing it. Doing things that you might not feel comfortable doing, are the times when we learn the most about ourselves. Find a friend, grab an oar and come down for a row.