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Developing crucial life skills to enhance physical, social and mental wellbeing

Encouraging disadvantaged young people to get active through rowing

Enabling young people from all backgrounds to endeavour in rowing

What we do

Engagement & Active Row

At the core of LYR's work is our focus on opening up the benefits of rowing to young people who would not normally get the chance to participate, through our engagement programmes. Our flagship Active Row programmes operate in three areas of the country, while our on-water programme at the Royal Docks helps young people from across East London access on-water rowing.

Active Row London

Active Row London is LYR's flagship school engagement programme, working with 60+ state secondary schools across London. The third iteration of LYR's school outreach programme, the programme regularly works with over 2,000 young people each year. Part of the programme focuses specifically on working with young people with special educational needs or a physical disability. Active Row London provides coaching and equipment to partner schools to run indoor rowing clubs through the winter and on-water rowing in the spring and summer. From 2021, the programme has included an increased emphasis on developing life skills alongside being physically active.

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Active Row Leeds

LYR launched the Active Row Leeds programme in September 2021, building on an earlier programme run by RowUK. Active Row Leeds is the first time LYR's school engagement programme has run outside London. The programme is aiming to work with up to 25 state secondary schools, backed by funding from the Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust. Additional funding from The Gemini Boat Race Bursary scheme has purchased additional rowing machines to allow the programme to expand into schools in Bradford and Wakefield. All participants will be given the chance to try indoor rowing, boosting physical activity and the development of life skills, while also being able to take part in LYR's competition programme. Working with Leeds BC, young people will also be offered the chance to try on-water rowing.

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Active Row Kent

Active Row Kent is LYR's newest programme, launching from January 2022. LYR is working with three schools in the Gravesend area to build indoor rowing clubs, led by teachers and developing an existing link to Gravesend RC. In time, we hope to expand the programme to included more schools in the local area.

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Active Row Nottingham

London Youth Rowing, in partnership with Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust (HRRCT) and Concept 2, has announced further expansion of its successful Active Row programme. A new programme will launch with schools in Nottingham from September 2022.

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Royal Docks On Water

LYR partners with the Royal Docks Trust and the Royal Albert Dock Trust to offer water sports to schools and community groups across Newham and beyond. Young people aged 11-14 can take part in taster and learn to row courses at the Royal Docks Adventure site. Working in partnership with the Sea Cadets, LYR also offers sailing and canoeing to primary and secondary schools at the centre. Schools and community groups located close to the Royal Docks can benefit from subsidised session rates.

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Active Paddle

LYR has partnered with British Canoeing and Sport England to create the Active Paddle programme, to bring canoeing and paddle sports to young people from across London at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Royal Docks.

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Active Row Islington

With funding from Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust (HRRCT), local schools and Islington's local education authority, the successful Active Row programme expands into Islington.

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Life Skills

Alongside Active Row, LYR runs a series of programmes that actively aim to develop young people's Life Skills, using a combination of rowing, mentoring and workshops. This includes programmes that develop our team of coaches, helping to build a generation of skilled rowing coaches with a mindset focused on making rowing, and sport in general, more inclusive.

Active Row Life Skills

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LYR's Active Row programmes are supplemented by Active Row Life Skills, through which young people taking part in our partner schools have the opportunity to develop key life skills alongside being physically active through rowing. LYR uses the Skills Builder framework to structure this development, with students focusing on developing a key life skill each school half term. In addition, pupils at schools on the Active Row programme can take part in termly skills development and employability workshops run with LYR's corporate partners, while also accessing content relating to careers and key skills on the LYR Life Skills portal.

Teacher Training

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In Partnership with British Rowing and with expert input from the PR Scholar we are excited to be offering our Active Row Partner and Network schools FREE access to a new online course, which can be completed in as little as an hour. We are also able to offer an in person delivery of the course through our Active Row coaches.

Step Up Coach Development

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The Step Up Coach Development programme aims to help ensure LYR's team of coaches is the best it can be. Through the programme, funded by The Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust, LYR recruits coaches from a diverse range of backgrounds, looking well beyond "traditional" rowing, and develops them through a two-year programme to be highly effective grassroots coaches. This will make our programmes even more engaging and accessible for the young people we work with and support the wider aim of making rowing a more diverse and inclusive sport, by creating a group of coaches with the mindset and skills to increase engagement in rowing and other sports across the country.

Alternative Provisions

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LYR's Alternative Provisions programme focuses on using rowing as a tool to support young people excluded from mainstream education. The programme, funded by The Vintner's Company, works with up to 10 groups per year from Alternative Provisions and Pupil Referral Units across London. Pupils are challenged to engage with on-water rowing and build confidence, control and focus while learning to work as a team. The ultimate aim of the programme is to support young people to change and manage their behaviour to help them re-enter mainstream education, which is transformational for their long-term life prospects.


Competition & Talent Inclusion

Alongside our engagement and life skills programmes, LYR offers a range of online and in-person competitions to keep young people engaged in the sport. Our Talent Inclusion and junior club rowing programmes offer young people pathways to progress from their first experience of rowing, to regular on-water rowing and on towards competing at the highest level. Throughout, the focus is on making the experience as inclusive and welcoming as possible.


LYR runs the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships every spring. More than 2000 young people get to take part in individual and team relay races, making NJIRC amongst the largest indoor rowing competitions in the world. The 2022 edition ran virtually due to covid-19 and had more than 7,000 participants from the UK and beyond.

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GB Start

Together with British Rowing and University of East London (UEL), LYR hosts the GB Start Rowing Academy at Newham's Royal Docks, a new programme that aims to open up the successful GB Start talent identification programme to young people from backgrounds that have not traditionally taken part in rowing.

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Talent Inclusion

The LYR Talent Inclusion programme launched in September 2021, building on previous work by LYR to build a pathway from our Active Row school programmes to on-water and club rowing. Funded by Sport England and supported by GB Rowing, the programme will build a series of LYR "Open Clubs" across London, providing youth club-style weekly sessions to encourage young people to take the step from the Active Row programme to rowing beyond the school setting. The Open Clubs will feed into a newly established LYR Boat Club, a water sports club with inclusion as its core ethos. LYR BC will operate initially at the Olympic Park, before branching out to the Royal Docks and West London.

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LYR Online League

The LYR Online League launched in 2020, as part of LYR's response to the covid pandemic. Young people from around the world can take part in the free competition, with new rowing, running and cycling challenges available each month. The Online League will form a key part of our future programmes, encouraging wider participation and supporting sustained engagement from the young people we are already working with. Since it launched, over 450 people have taken part and we are aiming to grow this significantly in the coming years.

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Mossbourne Rowing Academy

The Mossbourne Rowing Academy runs in two state secondary schools in Hackney - Mossbourne Community Academy and Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy. The aim of the programme is to run a rowing programme comparable to, and competing with, those at leading private schools. The programme is fully funded by the Mossbourne Federation, LYR and other donors, meaning that there is no cost to young people taking part. All pupils at the two schools take part in indoor rowing in years 7 and 8, with the option to try on-water rowing, before the Rowing Academy squad focuses on performance rowing from Year 9 onwards. Over 100 pupils from highly diverse backgrounds train multiple times per week as part of the Rowing Academy, led by ex-GB rower Tom Wilkinson and his team of coaches.

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Find out about more of our programmes


Charity Number: 1122941. Company Number: 06243293. Royal Docks Adventure, 1012 Dockside Road, London, E16 2QT.
Tel: 0203 356 7178