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, Islington, Tower Hamlets and Southwark who see rowing as a pathway to achieving their goals. This year, students were also recruited from local Pupil Referral Units (PRU). Therefore, 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 & industries
  • Develop life skills: through skills training, corporate mentoring & on-water activity
  • Provide future pathways: offer work experience, apprenticeship opportunities & links into further education

Proven impacts for participants are increased confidence, control, commitment and an improved ability to cope with challenge, which are all signposts to future success.



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

The programme aims to inspire young people to build a career in sport whilst gaining a qualification; Level 2 Coaching and Level 2 Apprentice, Diploma. It is for 16-24 year olds and comprises of 20 hours per week of on the job experience (practical rowing coaching), 10 hours per week of classroom based training (Coach Core content, generic industry content, coaching specific content, anatomy and nutrition).

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 this website.