On Friday 15 March, over 1,700 young people will race at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships (NJIRC) at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. For the first time in the event’s history, NJIRC 2019 will take place at the London 2012 Copper Box Arena, allowing young competitors to showcase their strength, talent and determination on the same iconic stage as Team GB’s Olympic and Paralympic superstars.

Run by groundbreaking youth sports charity London Youth Rowing (LYR), NJIRC is the biggest junior indoor rowing competition of its kind in the world.

  • 150 schools and clubs will travel from as far afield as Warrington, the Isle of Wight and Plymouth to take part in 6 hours of racing, supported by over 200 volunteers
  • 70 state secondary schools have been preparing as part of London Youth Rowing’s Active Row Programme, which works with schools in the most deprived areas of London
  • Diverse and inclusive. 50% of participants are girls, over 60% BME and we cater specifically for young competitors with sensory, learning and physical disabilities

LYR aims to enable young people to be and stay active, and to open the sport of rowing to everyone regardless of background, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or ability. NJIRC showcases the incredible talent, drive and energy of many young people who do not normally get the chance to race at a national level, and offers a taste of the buzz and adrenaline of high-level competition.

“The competition was great fun last year, not only was it just the competition, we also had other activities to do while we were waiting for our turn. The volunteers were extremely friendly and really motivating.”
Malahat Bibi, student at Harris Bermondsey Academy

“This will be the first year at NJIRC for our students at Clapton Girls. It is hard for them to know what to expect at such a big event, but they are really excited to race at The Copper Box Arena! They have trained multiple times a week and many of the girls don’t participate in other sports at School. Indoor rowing has definitely helped them develop their confidence and self-esteem.”
Rose Linden, Rowing Co-ordinator at Clapton Girls’ Academy

“NJIRC is a fantastic event for young rowers to experience real competition. From last year, I know the atmosphere when you walk in is overwhelming, rowing just doesn’t have this energy anywhere else. There is huge support from young people, teachers and coaches who have travelled from all over the UK. I can’t wait to be part of the volunteering team with Tideway again this year and supporting on the race floor!”
Andrew Triggs-Hodge, triple Olympic Gold Medallist

“The move of NJIRC to the Olympic Park is brilliant. It’s a fantastic opportunity to relive the magic of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and great for the ongoing legacy. Since joining the London Youth Rowing board last summer, it’s been inspiring to see how LYR offers so many young people an introduction to the sport and NJIRC plays a really important part.”
Sophie Hosking, London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist and LYR Board Member

VIP guests include three-times Olympic Champions Andrew Triggs-Hodge and Pete Reed. Alongside the race programme, NJIRC hosts a Festival of Sport and Careers featuring exhibits and activities from Saracens Rugby, British Rowing, West Ham United FC, The Royal Navy, London Fire Brigade, British Cycling, Wheelchair Basketball and more. The Festival of Sport and Careers offers participants a well-rounded event, opening their eyes to wider opportunities and experiences.

Notes to Editors

  • London Youth Rowing is very grateful to The Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust and Sport England, both funding partners for NJIRC 2019.
  • Alongside NJIRC, a new fundraising challenge called ‘Race The Thames’ will bring together corporate teams to race indoors at the iconic Copper Box Arena and raise funds for the charity. Teams of 8 will race over an incredible 45 miles – the length of the Tidal Thames, including teams from CitiGroup, Cushman and Wakefield, The Royal Navy and Tideway.