The first Active Row Finals will take place on Friday 25 January after a series of four indoor competitions took place in November and December. Across events in West, Central, South and East London, 535 young people have taken part. The events included individual and relay races for years 7 to 10 and for many, it was their first taste of indoor competition.

Only four boys’ and girls’ teams have made it to the finals to be hosted by partner Tideway at The Cottons Centre, London Bridge. Active Row aims to help 8,000 young people get active over 4 years across the city through indoor rowing clubs, access to rowing in the summer and much more.  

Team GB athlete Ella Holloway, who has been part of the GB Development Squad since January 2018, made an appearance at Active Row South. She said:

“I was delighted to spend the afternoon at the Active Row South Competition and see over two hundred young people enjoying competing in an indoor rowing competition. There was a real buzz about the atmosphere and the young people were really kind and supportive to one another. Similar to my experience with British rowing, the values of Active Row: teamwork and inclusion were prominent for all in attendance of the event. It inspired me to see many parallels between the young people’s journey through sport and my own.”

Ella’s goal is racing in the 2019 World Cup in the PR3 women’s category. Active Row also saw Sport England representatives Jamie Hooper the Senior Equality & Diversity Manager and Viveen Taylor the Strategic Lead for Lower Social Economic Groups meet young people at the event.

The Athlete Inspire Programme arranged the visit from Ella Holloway, who joined Andrew Triggs-Hodge, a three times Olympic Champion now working at Tideway, who assisted with the medal presentations. The volunteers from the West Ham United Foundation and Tideway helped on the race floor and with other activities.

The Active Row Values: teamwork, resilience, communication and inclusion are now integrated across the programme, to develop reward and recognition away from competition. Two young people from each school who exhibit these values were presented with the All Star Awards at each Active Row Competition.

The Active Row competition series is coming to an exciting culmination, Mrs Greener from Townley Grammar commented:

“Townley thoroughly enjoyed attending the Active Row competition in December.  The girls worked extremely hard and managed to control their nerves and were delighted to win 7 medals as a result. We are looking forward to the Finals in January.  As the teacher in charge of rowing, I am extremely proud of all the students and the effort they put in.”

The first Active Row Finals take place on Friday 25 January. Only four boys’ and girls’ teams will take part in the inaugural finals based on their overall points scores:

Boys - Mossbourne Community Academy (East), Cardinal Vaughan Memorial school (Central), Stepney Green Maths, Computing & Science College (East), St Matthew Academy (East)

Girls - Townley Grammar School (East), Mossbourne Community Academy (East), Ricard’s Lodge High School (South), Clapton Girls’ Academy (East)

All Active Row Schools will now be targeting the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships on 15 March at The Copper Box Arena.