On the day that marked 2012 days since the start of the London Olympic Games, over 200 young people competed in the final area Competition, Active Row East at the University of East London Sports Dock on Monday 29 January.

Supported by three times Olympic Champion Andrew Triggs Hodge, who won Gold at the London 2012 Olympics and a large group of volunteers from Tideway and West Ham United Foundation, a total of 11 Secondary Schools took part. The Programme launched in October, thanks to top tier funding from Sport England and new partner Tideway, with the aim to get 8,000 more young people active across the capital.

Andrew Triggs-Hodge, now employed as Programme Manager at Tideway, said:

'It’s hard to believe yesterday marked 2012 days since the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. I’ve got some amazing memories of being part of Team GB at a home Olympics and winning Gold at Dorney Lake. The legacy of programmes like Active Row, has huge potential to reach thousands of young people not currently engaged in sport and inspire a generation to be more active and stay active!

'I hope we can support hundreds of young people to get in a boat for the first time this summer and enjoy learning to row on the river Thames. At Tideway, we are very proud to support London Youth Rowing and Active Row with over 70 Schools across London. The buzz around the venue for Active Row East was brilliant yesterday and I know for many young people it was their first year taking part.'

Young people between 11-16 years old competed in individual and relay events, many for the first time. All participants have been introduced to indoor rowing by the team of LYR Community Coaches working across London, with Active Row Partner Schools from Newham, Hackney, Enfield and Redbridge in attendance.

Schools taking part included: City Academy Hackney, Langdon Park, Ursuline Academy Ilford, Ilford County, and Forest Academy alongside four SEN groups from NewVIc College, JFK School, West Lea and St Angela’s Ursuline School.

West Ham United Foundation provided a group of 20 student volunteers to support the event, who took on a range of roles including race floor support, team assistants and co-ordination of medal presentations.

Andrew Griffiths, Higher Education Officer and Lecturer at West Ham United Foundation explained:

'It has been a brilliant experience for students to be part of a major event engaging the local community and Schools in East London. The students began the Applied Community Sport Foundation Degree in September and must complete 90 hours of voluntary hours in sport this year. This event provides the perfect opportunity to develop their experience and see how Sports Development and Education come together through the Active Row Programme. We hope this is just the beginning of an exciting new partnership.'

Working with 76 Schools in 12 priority London Boroughs, over the next four years Active Row will offer regular indoor and on-water rowing sessions and a pathway to further opportunities. The programme focuses on engaging young people who are less likely to participate in physical activity, such as those from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds, girls and individuals with special educational needs or a disability.

The Competition series provides a fun and social environment for young people to enjoy being active, while also acting as a stepping stone to the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships 2018 hosted by London Youth Rowing.

[Photo captions: Top left, Anddrew Triggs-Hodge with medal winners. Right, West Ham United Volunteers. Bottom left, the race floor.]