London Youth Rowing welcomed two thousand young people from 150 Schools and Junior Clubs to the 12th National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships at Lee Valley Athletics Centre on Friday 9 March 2018.


With the mission to inspire them to get active and stay active, London Youth Rowing (LYR) were delighted that 57 Secondary Schools from Active Row funded by Sport England and Tideway, took part representing over 50% of all participants aged between 11-18 years.

The atmosphere lived up to high expectations as described by a participant from Brixton Wings Open Community Club, delivered by Active Row Coaches in South London:

“I always love NJIRC because it’s a huge adrenaline rush.” said Tida Sullivan.

Participants travelled from as far as Warrington in the North and Plymouth in the South, with races starting at 10am and finishing at 4.30pm thanks to support from over 200 volunteers, many on the packed race floors. The largest group was 46 volunteers from DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) as part of their Community 10,000 volunteering programme and 40 volunteers from Tideway. The Festival of Sport and Education included over 20 activities and exhibits ranging from Lea Valley Paddle Sports, England Hockey and Wheelchair Basketball to West Ham United, The Royal Navy and Met Police.



Lirio Tobaruela Nakamura, from Kensington Aldridge Academy summed the experience for many participants:

“Overall, it has been a really good experience, I have never been to anything like this before, and it’s such a huge competition! I especially enjoyed the rock climbing and loved the rowing competition. I would encourage anyone to definitely come next year!”

Amongst the leading results, Plymouth Rowing Club took three of the Gold medals in the team relays. Plymouth have entered a team since the first NJIRC event and struck Gold this year in the Boat Race Girls relay, Sprint Boys relay and Sprint Girls relay. The winner of the Boat Race Boys relay was Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club, ahead of Plymouth. The leading Active Row School in the relays was Mossbourne Community Academy with 7th, 8th and 8th place across three events.

The leading Active Row individual performances came from Travis Bedward (Consiborough College), who took Silver medal in the Year 7 boys race against almost 200 competitors, Lucas Magson (Graveney) second in Year 9 boys event and Edwin Zaimovic (Haverstock) who won the Year 11 boys category. In the SEN races, Stormont House won an incredible five medals including both first and second in the KS4 Boys category.

For the first time, young people from the London Borough of Brent took part. Thanks to a new local partnership with Quintain and Wembley Park, two Active Row Schools were represented; Ark Academy and Alperton Community School.

Andrew Triggs-Hodge, triple Olympic Gold Medallist took time out to meet participants and present some medals, along with Mark Hunter, Olympic Champion and Jessica Eddie, Olympic Silver Medallist. Andrew, now Programme Manager at Tideway was part of their Volunteer team, he said:

“NJIRC is a fantastic event for young rowers to experience real competition. The atmosphere when you walked in was overwhelming, you can tell how excited the athletes are to have an opportunity to race and represent their schools and clubs. It was another brilliant event to be part of on the race floor, alongside an amazing 200 Volunteers!”


LYR’s commitment to supporting London’s youth population was also recognised by the London Sports Awards on 8 March. Shortlisted for The Children and Young People Award, LYR celebrated the impact of Active Row on the eve of NJIRC at Wembley Arena.

Launched 12 years ago by LYR, NJIRC originally hosted less than 700 competitors at Hammersmith Town Hall. It has since developed into a true sporting extravaganza, which is unique in the sport of rowing and the biggest indoor rowing event of its kind in the world.