Breaking Barriers programme

Our 'life skills' mentoring programme aims to enable motivated LYR rowers to flourish as they transition from school into the wider world. 

Since the successful pilot in 2014/15, Breaking Barriers has been available to Year 10 pupils at schools in Newham, Islingon, Tower Hamlets and Southwark who see rowing as a pathway to achieving their goals. In early 2017, students were also recuirted from local Pupil Referral Units (PRU) and a specific pilot programme including PRU students was launched. 

The programme recognises that the soft skills required to be a successful rower, such as time management, communication and teamwork, are also necessary for success in the classroom and in the workplace. 

Breaking Barriers links youth rowers with corporate mentors at weekly workshops in order to achieve valuable outcomes: 

  • Broaden aspirations: by providing exposure to different types of people, careers and industries
  • Develop life skills: through skills training, corporate mentoring and on-water activity
  • Provide future pathways: offer work experience, apprenticeship opportunities and links into further education

We use the 'MTQ48' online questionnaire to measure resilience and proven impacts for participants are increased confidence, control, commitment and an improved ability to cope with challenges, which are all signposts to future success. 

Breaking Barriers mentors teaching soft skills to students


LYR is part of the Coach Core Apprenticeship programme, in conjunction with the Royal Foundation and a number of other partners in London. 

Coach Core inspires young people to build a career in sports coaching, giving them the qualifications, skills and expertise to be successful and more employable, whilst also becoming role models for their students and the wider community. 

Apprentices Joel and Jordan awarding medals at the Schools Indoor Rowing Challenge 

The programme strives to improve the availability and quality of sports coaching, whilst creating much needed employment for young people. For LYR it supports the need to develop high quality rowing coaches to deliver our rowing activity both indoor and on water. Check out one of our 2016/17 apprentices, Joel, in the Our Impact section of the website.