On Thursday 12th July, 30 rowers from LYR Breaking Barriers and our East London Development Squad were invited to HMS President for a team building workshop with the Royal Navy.

Breaking Barriers is LYR’s Life Skills programme, aiming to develop young people through combined rowing and mentoring sessions. Upon completion of the first year of the programme, students are able to continue rowing at LYR Open Satellites, one of which is the East London Development Squad. Both groups can now access additional mentoring through our workshop events!

The afternoon began with an introduction to the Royal Navy and the role they play today in 2018; from defence and tackling crimes such as trafficking and piracy, to humanitarian relief after natural disasters. Then the students progressed onto timed team building activities and challenges, including navigating a human-size spider web, puzzles and pipe building tasks.

The Royal Navy team were engaging, informative and inclusive.

LYR rower Julia, who rows for Globe Rowing Club said:

‘It was a brilliant day, really informative and fun. I enjoyed the explanation of what the Royal Navy does, what roles they’re comprised of. It was really interesting to see the whole area that they work in. Their outdoor activities got everyone involved, and staff were really friendly! On the pontoon, with Tower Bridge in the background, we could see a super yacht and two ships coming through. There were lots of officers around; it was really cool. As a team building workshop it was vibrant and exciting. They got everyone involved, and got young people who didn’t all know each other talking to each other and working as a team.

Breaking Barriers Programme Manager, Jenny Cooper, said:

‘Thursday set the bar for the introduction of our Breaking Barriers workshops. Seeing Saleh, Nancy, Kimberley and Marija return from our early Breaking Barriers groups was fantastic, fully engaged in team building activities with our younger Breaking Barriers students and current East London Development Squad rowers. A whole mix of students from across London all gained an enormous amount from the workshop, as shown by their feedback. So many young people are keen to hear when our next event will be! Thank you to Luigi and the Royal Navy team for an exceptionally well-organised workshop on team building.’

Find out more about Breaking Barriers and what it means to become a Mentor.