Members of the Great Britain Rowing Team came to support 100 students from 5 West London Schools today. It is the second Active Row Area Competition as part of a four part series for Active Row Schools. 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.

Thanks to the Athlete Inspire Programme (AIP), a new initiative from UK Sport and Sport England, GB Rowing athletes Graeme Thomas, Oliver Wynne-Griffith and Caragh McMurty and Rowan McKellar attended LYR's second Active Row indoor rowing competition. 

GB athlete Graeme Thomas said: 'As someone from a state school background myself, it's huge for rowing and the sustainability of the sport to have charities like London Youth Rowing. It opens up opportunities outside of the sport, like further education, and getting engaged in the rowing community now could be fantastic for these young people. The skills that rowing provides, whether or not they carry on with the sport, will help them be a successful person.'

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 Ealing, Hounslow and Brent in attendance.

Schools taking part included: Isleworth and Syon, The Green School Boys, Gunnersbury Catholic School, Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School and Alperton Community School. 

‘There's never a dull moment on race day. The best bit is watching my athletes come away feeling confident after working so hard. Having the GB Rowers here today makes it even better. It's great knowing they support our work and want rowing to become more inclusive, and are encouraging people from all backgrounds and of all abilities to get involved', said Steve, East London Community Coach.

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.

'I came second last year and am looking to win today. I love competing against everyone and competing as a team. Rowing keeps you fit, it's fun, it builds your stamina. it's just a really good sport,' said Michael, Gunnersbury School competitor.  

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. Far left: Year 7 boys individual race. Far right: GB Rowers Graeme Thomas and Oliver Wynne-Griffith at Year 7 boys medal ceremony.]