This Summer London Youth Rowing has been running ‘Learn to Row’ courses and taster sessions across London. They give young people the opportunity to try rowing on the water outside of school at a price that is affordable for all.  

Our locations were Thames Tradesmen Rowing Club in Chiswick, Osterley Park in Hounslow, Fairlop Rowing Club in Ilford, Royal Docks Adventure in Newham and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

Last week brothers, Tyger and Lyo, and friend Yusef who all live in Newham, gave rowing a go for the first time at a taster session at Royal Docks Adventure. They wanted to try rowing as it was something they had seen on TV. Tyger added that any sport where you can go fast is a sport he would enjoy. They were all a bit nervous about falling in, but eager to get started.

Their coach, LYR apprentice Jordan, squeezed as much as he could into the hour and a half and they really enjoyed it. After going through the correct techniques and safety instructions, they pushed off from the pontoon and managed to get themselves up and down the stretch of water a couple of times, even building up some speed! Luckily, no one fell in.

Afterwards they were all incredibly proud of what they had achieved on their first day, and were excited to come and do it again. Yusef explained that he really enjoyed trying a sport where you had to challenge yourself to get better. Even though he had tried kayaking and sailing before, he said, ‘rowing is actually more exciting!’

Local young people like Tiger, Lyo and Yusef have learning to row all summer, and the coaches have really enjoyed seeing beginners flourish.


Yusef, Tiger and Lyo


Eleanor, Amela and Kanishkaa all took part in the ‘Learn to Row’ week-long course at Fairlop Rowing Club. On their second day they were already buzzing with excitement about the sport. Eleanor said she really enjoyed the first day and the satisfying ‘rhythm’ of the exercise. All three of them are active at school playing hockey, netball and football, but all of those sports involve a ball and running around. This was unlike anything else they had done before.

The girls enjoyed trying the rowing machines on the first day and could not wait to get out on the water later on.

All three of them said that they would love their school to offer indoor rowing as part of PE. The coaches were excited to see such passion and it is exactly why these courses are so important. They give young people who might not otherwise have had the chance, an opportunity to inspire a passion for sport.


Eleanor, Amela and Kanishkaa