Andy Mitchell, CEO of Tideway - the company building London’s new super sewer - was one of more than 200 volunteers who supported London Youth Rowing at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships. Here he talks about his experience, and why Tideway supports LYR.

Volunteering at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships is a truly remarkable experience – it challenges, excites and inspires volunteers in a way that few events can match.

Our project will clean up the iconic River Thames for generations to come, but while we are doing this important job we are also committed to supporting communities along the tunnel route and engaging our staff in volunteering. More than 30 of us from the Tideway Alliance volunteered at NJIRC this year and there were more than 2,100 young people from diverse backgrounds competing, the vast majority of whom were competing in a way that I suspect they never believed they would.

Above: Andy supporting competitors on the Race Floor

It is run by LYR but there were schools from Truro to Warrington present and the event seems to grow in size and popularity each year. It was good to see the Thames Skills Academy there also, clearly with an eye on getting youngsters interested in a career on the river, plus other careers exhibitors and a ‘festival of sport’ showcasing other great activities to get fit and healthy.

More than half of the young people who came to the event were from LYR’s Active Row programme, which is supported by Tideway and Sport England. Since September this programme has already got 2,400 children from across London active through indoor rowing, and many of them will be trying on-water rowing for the first time this spring and summer - reconnecting with the River Thames and other London waterways.

Above: Tideway's full volunteering group

All in all, NJRIC was an exhilarating and uplifting event and my advice is to look out next year for a chance to volunteer – I will guarantee that you will enjoy it. You will not only help LYR to run a huge event but you will also get to see the incredibly positive impact that rowing can have.

Interested in volunteering with LYR? Visit Become a Volunteer for more opportunities.