London Youth Rowing has been announced today as category winners of the Community Sport and Recreation Awards at a prestigious awards Lunch at the Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham.

Nominated in the Community Engagement Award category, the top three shortlisted entries were: Burnley FC in the Community, Thatto Heath Crusader Amateur Rugby Club and London Youth Rowing. The award was presented whilst over 1,750 young people were taking part in LYR’s Annual National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships at The Copper Box Arena, London.

Medg Sullivan, collected the Award on behalf of London Youth Rowing she said:
“I was pleasantly surprised when we won and it was a privilege to receive the award on behalf of LYR! My own organisation Brixton Wings is very much a product of what LYR deliver to communities across London and we couldn’t exist without the opportunities they provide.”

The award celebrates community clubs and programmes that have increased participation by bringing the whole community together through either sport, recreation or physical activity. The nomination summarised our impact in East London since the charity was established in 2004, in particular with 81% of participants coming from BME backgrounds in 2018.

London Youth Rowing aims to establish sport as a regular habit for young people. Our work creating a positive, social and thriving environment through the Active Row Programme, with inspiring coaches as excellent role models, was highlighted in the nomination. The Active Row programme is working with over 70 State Schools in 12 priority London Boroughs, based on the London Poverty profile. Launched in September 2017, a total of 2,780 young people were engaged in Year 1 through Active Row.

Terry Blancke, one of our Session Coaches, commented in particular on the diversity of participants:
“I have been active in the sport of rowing in the east end of London for over 40 years and at the Royal Docks for almost 20 years. The impact of London Youth Rowing has been profound, the level of participation in the sport from the local community is tremendous. 

“The demographic at the sessions that I am involved in truly reflects the diverse local community and it is particularly pleasing to see the levels of female involvement. We have a waiting list of young people to join which is a great testament to the efforts of LYR to engage with the local community.”

Matt Rostron, CEO at London Youth Rowing, said:
“I am delighted that LYR’s work with the community in Newham has been recognised in this way. London Youth Rowing was founded with the vision of opening access to the sport of rowing to young people from all backgrounds and abilities, and we’re very thankful to the London Borough of Newham for their ongoing support in achieving this.”

The Awards were presented by the President of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex on Friday 15 March 2019.