Active Row student selected to represent England Team South by British Rowing at the School Games Final 31st August - 1st September 2018 at premiere rowing event.

Edwin Zaimovic, 16yrs, from Haverstock School, has been selected to compete at the School Games Final in the first ever indoor rowing competition. The annual multi-sport event has been set up as part of the London 2012 Olympic legacy and will be held at Loughborough University, with an expected 1,400 young athletes in attendance.  

In March 2018 Edwin won the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships (NJIRC). It was his second indoor rowing competition, having been asked whether he wanted to have a go on the machines for fun at an Active Row area competition just a few months earlier.

Over four years, Active Row aims to provide 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. This year alone 2783 young people have tried indoor or on-water rowing through Active Row. Of this, 67% were from BAME groups and 43% were female.

Above: Edwin (centre) on the medal podium at NJIRC 2018

Until then, rugby had been his main focus. Sports Coach at Haverstock School, Jamie Histed, could see his height and build would be perfect for the game and invited him to have a go.

Haverstock School has been working with LYR for 5 years, marketing their indoor rowing club as a fitness session, attracting many of the school rugby players.

‘For me sport has changed my lifestyle completely. At 10 years old I was chubby and lazy, you wouldn’t have seen me anywhere near sport...It gives you confidence, you’re engaged more, you meet more people you make more friends. Sport is amazing and everyone should try and find what suits them.’ said Edwin.

Above: Edwin (back left) and his teammates get a visit from Boris Johnson

He attests to the fact that rowing in particular has taught him some important life skills:

‘I think I’ve learned to persevere and to not give up. Six minutes can be an awfully long time when you’re on a rowing machine! It teaches you not to give up. It can relate across everything, whether it’s studying or sport you have to stay strong mentally and rowing does help with that massively. I don’t think I would ever have competed or found out I was decent at it without London Youth Rowing.’

But at the moment, he doesn’t know whether a career in rowing, rugby or medicine is on the cards.

After the School Games Final at the end of August, Edwin is set to start his A Levels in Chemistry, Biology and Maths and St Paul’s Catholic College having been awarded a rugby scholarship through the London Irish Academy.

Above: Edwin during school rugby match

He says he’s excited to get up on a bigger stage this summer and see where he ranks amongst some of the very best rowers in the U.K. 

We know that Edwin is going to be successful no matter what his future holds! Watch his progress by following LYR on Twitter and Facebook, and buy your tickets to watch the School Games here.