I joined LYR in February 2019, having come from a Performance and Grassroots Paddlesports background. I am passionate about the positive impact being out on the water can have on the development of young lives. I am enjoying being out on the water and coaching Rowing just as much as do I Canoes or Kayaks.
I was really excited about the work LYR does and the opportunities within the charity to change the lives of the young people we work with. I love working with LYR and am really excited for what the future holds.
I grew up travelling abroad with my family, which included flitting between The Netherlands, Nigeria, and Oman. Due to my nomadic upbringing I tended to struggle with my peers and never felt truly accepted, until I began attending the University of Leicester where I found their rowing club and it was here I began to feel part of the fold and truly part of a team. Rowing also developed me into a much more confident person - less afraid of failure, more eager to give it 100 percent no matter the outcome. After finishing my PGCE in English Literature I found I really missed the sport, but still wanted to work with young people - so I started coaching professionally and have never looked back.
As Programme Manager for Active Row Leeds I get to help London Youth Rowing with its first ever expansion! The project is already engaging with multiple young people in Yorkshire and working to help it become as big as it can be is a lot of fun. This is helped by being a part of the brilliant team that is London Youth Rowing, who despite the distance have been so accepting and welcoming from day one.
I have always been involved with sport and I believe it has a great capacity to help all people with physical, mental and social health. When I was the athlete, I was fortunate to have had great coaching and support from those around me and so when I started coaching, I wanted to make sure my athletes could experience the same encouragement I was once showed.
At Bournemouth University I had great rowing opportunities and met some amazing people, so when I joined LYR in 2022 I wanted to make sure that my work allowed these opportunities to happen. I believe LYR is a great charity, and I can't wait to see what we can do for the youth rowing community.
I began my rowing career with the World Class Start program while at Henley College having previously been a rugby player and started rowing at Leander as a complete novice. During my career I represented Great Britain at Junior, Under 23 and Senior level in both sweep and sculling. In 2012, I was appointed vice captain of Leander Club and helped them to win 4 Henley Royal Regatta medals. While studying at the University of East London I joined the Boat Club and was part of a squad that won several BUCS Gold Medals between 2011-2014. I'm excited to be working at Mossbourne and introducing an awesome, life changing sport to as many students as possible.
I began my career in sport in 2015 studying Sports Coaching at Leeds Beckett University. During my years studying I was exposed to a diverse range of sporting disciplines and initially I wanted to enter the world of elite sport, following a placement at the English Institute of Sport. However, my goals changed when I spent a summer coaching canoeing as a camp counsellor to children with behavioural issues in Minnesota. Now I want to be able to help transform young people’s lives through the power of sport; Something my role as Alternative Provision Lead at London Youth Rowing allows me to do. I joined LYR in September 2021, enjoying the new challenges and successes every day brings whilst working with young people.
Twelve years ago, my previous career in retail was leaving me unfulfilled, so after a sad family event I decided to do something about it and handed in my notice. I always wanted to work with young people and give something back. So I decided to do a youth work course and some voluntary work at various youth organisations to add alongside my varied life experiences. I also attended multiple sports coaching workshops, and coached at different youth clubs in and around London to gain experience, this led me to LYR, where 6 and a half years later I can honestly say that It was worth the change. Rowing is a great platform to engage with young people through coaching and mentoring. When I see young people achieve their true potential, it brings a smile to my face every time!
I began my London Youth Rowing journey July 2021. Graduating (2021) from university (Sports and exercise science degree), doing various coaching jobs, mainly in football, basketball, and swimming, rowing was really and truly something new to me. I've been here for over a year now and I have learnt so much about rowing, also in that time getting my rowing coaching qualification. Being able to have the opportunity to work with secondary school children, make fun sessions for them, while introducing them to the sport of rowing, was right up my street and I have enjoyed every day of it.
I started rowing in Nottingham with Nottingham & Union Rowing Club, at the age of 18 and have been passionate about the sport and the club of course, since then.
Over the past 6 or 7 years I have been involved, along with a number of similarly passionate coaches, in the N&URC Junior program whichhas grown from a small group of Club Officer’s sons and daughters to over a hundred athletes and 16 coaches as of today.
During the last 2 years, we had been approached by a few local schools to provide curriculum rowing lessons for their Year 7 pupils. This turned out to be great fun and a success for the Union coaches, the pupils and the schools.
The participating schools are already planning to repeat this in 2023.
Getting involved with LYR means I can bring that same level of fun and achievement to an even wider cross section of young people.
I’ve joined LYR as part of a new project that brings together LYR, the University of East London and British Rowing to create the new East London Start Academy. I’m excited to be able to bring my experience coaching across different high-performance school and club programmes to the centre, where together we’re creating an accessible performance pathway for the East London community.
Rowing is a sport than many think is beyond their reach, through no fault of their own. I believe it is incredibly important to show to young people that there are opportunities to succeed within sports they may not have considered. I’m looking forward to working with local athletes and seeing what they can achieve.
Hi I’m Kayleigh,
I have previous experience mostly with coaching and playing football and boxing. So, I am pretty new to the sport of rowing. I have a sports development and management degree, which gave me a deeper level of insight into the sporting world both on a sports development and elite side too.
After university I gained my gym instructor, personal training and Gp referral qualifications, and helped people fall back in love with physical activity again.
I love helping others feel good about themselves and achieve something they didn’t think was possible in the first place. One of my previous roles was working with SEN and children with mental health issues , and I used sport and physical activity as a tool, to help children socialise and achieve goals outside of their comfort zone. This I hope to continue, here at LYR.
I recently joined LYR having completed a degree in Biomedical Sciences at University of York. I have rowed since I was 12 years old and still love it as much as I did back then. I completed my Level 2 coaching qualification earlier this year, after volunteering as coach and cox at my local boat club and quickly realised that this is what I wanted to do as a career. I really believe that sport and in particular rowing can improve a person's life and I want to engage more people in the sport. Seeing others fall in love with the sport brings me so much joy, especially when I get to be involved in the process of inspiring and encouraging these people. I am excited to help LYR achieve their mission and I believe that sport can positively shape and improve people's lives.
Lured to London by the excitement of working in rowing as the capital prepared for the 2012 Olympics was too good an offer to turn down. The scope of what LYR does everyday has kept it just as exciting for me today. It is a hugely rewarding role that gives me the chance to work with an amazing bunch of coaches, partner schools, supporters and funders every day. I love it!
I was motivated to join LYR as I have vivid, positive memories of playing sport at school. At the time it often seemed like hard work, but with the benefit of hindsight I can see how much I learned through sport about life, working in a team and digging deep when needed. I tried my hand at rowing at University and it was clear to me the sport could offer huge benefits to anyone taking part.
When I read about LYR’s work to engage young people in rowing, help them to develop life skills and give them a chance to compete it really struck a chord. It’s a real privilege to work every day to give young people across London those same opportunities. Since I’ve been at LYR, I’ve turned my hand to all sorts of different areas including fundraising, day to day operations, data and impact measurement and working closely with the CEO and Board to support LYR’s governance and strategy. No two days are ever the same and so far it’s been great fun!
Andrew started rowing when a friend at Staffordshire University suggest he gives rowing a try because it’s a fun and social sport to do. He wasn’t a sportsman of any kind, and it certainly wasn’t part of any future planning. From the first stokes Andrew was hooked on the sport, and a passion was discovered. As passion became purpose the impact was transformational. By following his heart, and letting the rowing do the talking he ended a long career with 3 Olympic Gold medals. Since then he enjoys nothing more then exploring the boundaries of the sport. His passion has led him to LYR where he helps fund this great charity to reach out to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to offer this fun and social sport, with the aim to produce motivated and ambitious people able to achieve their potential.
Before working with London Youth Rowing I was a Teacher and most recently a Physical Education Specialist, working in professional development for Teachers. With a background in teaching and high level sport, I have been fortunate to experience and observe the huge benefits of being active. Rowing and swimming, among other sports, were the key to many of the opportunities I experienced as a young person (and as an adult). I still love to participate in any sport I can!
On joining London Youth Rowing I was inspired by the tremendous work being done to engage young people in life changing opportunities. This motivates me day to day. I love working in a team, alongside the coaches to support young people in their development and life skills.
I am now very excited to be managing and leading our flagship programme â€˜Active Rowâ€™ reaching over 3,000 young people throughout London a year.
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Manchester in 2000, I relocated to London to continue my career, working in senior management roles within the Newspaper Industry. Following my maternity leave with our first child, I joined forces with my husband to work in his finance consulting business, where one ofour first clients was a newly formed London Youth Rowing! Ten years on I have returned to LYR, as the part-time Finance Manager. I am proud to work for such a fantastic charity and to work with such an energetic, creative and dedicated team.
As someone who has benefited from the opportunities that LYR offer when I was younger, I now get to give back while doing something that I love and that’s an incredible feeling. Having progressed from the role of Community Coach, I am now based behind-the-scenes at LYR and have varied responsibilities. I am mainly responsible for how we operate day-to-day. It's my job to ensure that we are operating safely and are always looking to improve how we deliver. I am based at the Royal Docks Adventure but also oversee how we work across other sites. As well as the general operations, I work on two local delivery programmes based at the RDA as well as being Child Welfare Officer for LYR. I love the variety that my role includes: from working with coaches to working with partners and young people, from helping others achieve their goals to continuing my own personal development, from the daily sessions to huge annual events we deliver. It’s great to be in a work atmosphere that is innovative and inspiring. I feel fortunate to be in a position that offers young people in London access to some amazing opportunities. It's a pleasure to be able to work outdoors and enable others to enjoy the open air, particularly when the weather is nice. Rowing is such a therapeutic activity and can teach young people a lot about themselves.
After a much loved first stint with London Youth Rowing thatended in 2013, I am back to help this fantastic team achieve greater heights. With 3 young boys, I now appreciate even more so how important LYR is tothe local community. LYR brings energy, dedication and fun to the youthof our great city and I aim to bring this to LYR too. A born and raisedLondoner, having graduated from University of Greenwich with a BA Law degree, Ihope to bring some added value to the business in a professional capacity.
I joined LYR in August 2022 after deciding to take a step back from healthcare and moving across the world to the UK from Australia.
I was fortunate to be introduced to rowing when I was in school and fell in love with the sport and science behind the sport. I went on to study Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Sydney and compete as a coxswain for Australia.
Rowing presented many different opportunities to me throughout my career, so I am passionate about opening up the sport to everyone and teaching valuable Life Skills through physical activity. I am excited to see what we can achieve as a team at LYR and within the sporting world.
Aleks joined LYR in 2021 as part of the Kickstart scheme. He works as an administrator for our database and website systems.
Iain is an independent consultant providing expertise to organisations seeking to identify, evaluate and deliver a meaningful legacy from major events.
He was a member of the bid team that secured the Olympic and Paralympic Games for London and subsequently led work relating to the legacy of the 2012 Games, including 10 years leading the Major Events team at the Mayor of London’s agency responsible for international promotion and economic development, London & Partners. He is also a founding director, and now Honorary Member of, the International Association of Event Hosts and has an MBA degree from Cambridge University.
Iain's passion for sport often involves participating in physical challenges. This includes the London Marathon, RideLondon and rowing. He learnt to row at the University of Salford, has won an event at Henley Royal Regatta while at Cambridge University and has coached Loughborough Students Rowing Club.
Jim Downing founded LYR in 2004 and is now President of LYR.
Jim also serves as a Non-Executive Chairman for Native Land Ltd while participating as a Non-Executive Director and adviser to a number of other companies including Andrew Martin Ltd, Cydar Ltd and Essex Group Asia Pacific Ltd. Until July 2016 he was Non-Executive Director and Acting Chairman of Winsway Enterprises.
From 2001-2003, he was Deputy Head of JP Morgan Chase & Co's European Investment Banking group. Prior to the merger of JP Morgan & Co. with Chase Manhattan Bank in 2000, he worked as their Co-Head European Investment Banking.
Jim obtained an MBA from Yale in 1982 and a BSc. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1976.
Akash is a Corporate Banking Analyst at Citi in the Global Subsidiary Group in London.
He is an avid sailor, sailing regularly off the English and Irish coast.
Akash holds a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Sciences from Kings College London and rowed for his university team. Originally from Mauritius, he enjoys spending time snorkelling and being on the water.
Avril moved to London, from Canada in 2003 to complete an MSc from Imperial College. It was meant to be a one year stay, but she fell in love with the city and failed to return home. She’s spent the last 18 years working in finance, focussed on complex international energy issues, most recently decarbonization / energy transition.
She started sculling in 1995, as a junior, at the Calgary Rowing Club and been on the water ever since. The Thames (and her single scull) has become one ofher favourite places to be for a quiet break from London’s chaos. She lives in Putney with her husband and two young children.
Dr. Ian Pickup is Chief Operating Officer at the University of East London, where he is responsible for the leadership, development and effective delivery of all student-facing professional services. Prior to this, Ian was Deputy COO at SOAS University of London, Head of the Student Experience at University College Cork, Ireland, and was Director of Student Affairs and Director of Sport and Wellbeing at the University of Roehampton.
He holds a PhD in Education from the University of Roehampton, where he also worked as a Principal Lecturer, becoming a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2007. Ian contributed to a range of national and international initiatives, including being the UK partner in an EU project relating to early years teacher education, and the training of NGO staff in the use of sport as a tool for social development in post disaster contexts. A teacher and coach, Ian has authored key texts to support initial teacher education in physical education and remains a passionate advocate for the educational benefits of sport and physical activity. Ian was among the first wave of professional rugby players with the Harlequins Rugby Club in the mid-1990s and maintains an active interest in a range of sports today.
John started his career as a journalist, working in regional newspapers before becoming Editorial Director of Teletext on ITV and Channel 4, the national interactive TV service, for 10 years. He is now a leader in the Corporate Responsibility field, leading CR for Tideway, the company building London's "super-sewer" underneath the River Thames. He has significant experience in community partnerships and in companies delivering social value.
John's sporting passion is cricket - he is still playing, just, and he has discovered the challenges and joys of rowing through Tideway's Oarsome Challenge charity marathons along the Thames.
Karen Morris has over 25 years' experience in sponsorship, both in media (at Classic FM as Head of Sponsorship), WPP and brandmeetsbrand, which she founded in 2003, as well as later taking over Sponsorship Consulting to expand further into European sponsorship.
Karen has a wealth of experience in sponsorship strategy and acquisition across all sectors including arts, entertainment, charity, not for profit, media and sport.
Marianna, originally from Poland, graduated in law and focussed her studies on the phenomenon of doping in law. Since moving to the UK, she has been an advisor on sports governance. She is a member of the Inclusion Advisory Group of the Middlesex FA and a former Non-Executive Director of the British Kickboxing Council.
Marianna is passionate about how sport and physical activity can break down social barriers and increase participation in sports, especially among young people regardless of their background or physical abilities. Marianna is a Funding Manager focusing on Children and Young People at the London Marathon Charitable Trust. She manages grants supporting ambitious projects across the UK that will challenge inequality of access to physical activity and reflect the spirit of the London Marathon.
Nick is a high performance coach with the GB Paralympic squad, and part of the highly successful coaching team that oversaw all four Paralympic boats winning medals at the Rio games and Tokyo 2020.
He found direction through rowing at a state school and after representing GB as a junior went on to attain a degree in Biology from Oxford Brookes University. After moving on from competing himself he built a career in coaching at the National High Performance centre.
With 18 years of involvement in rowing and witnessing first hand its power to positively shape lives he wants to help ensure the opportunities the sport offers are available to people from all walks of life.
Sarah is a chartered civil engineer with over twenty years' experience in project management working primarily in the construction and maritime sectors.
Sarah graduated from Bradford University in 1997 having spent time as a postgraduate researcher in Japan for a civil engineering firm and went on to work in private consultancy and for the Environment Agency.
She spent ten years between Cumbria, Lancashire and the Thames Barrier working in flood risk management before moving to the Port of London Authority (PLA).
Most recently Sarah was the PLA's Asset Strategy Manager and during her time there developed a love of rowing, primarily in the PLA's traditional cutters. Sarah has recently become director of Hawkshill Consulting Limited, a multidisciplinary consultancy offering project management and organisational change management services.
Sophie Hosking MBE, joined LYR's Board in May 2018. Sophie is a retired rower, having won a Gold medal for Great Britain in the Lightweight Double Scull at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In the 2013 New Year's Honours, Sophie was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to rowing.
Sophie originally studied for her undergraduate degree in chemistry and physics at Durham University, but has since qualified as a Solicitor. She continues to be a member of London Rowing Club, where she served as the first female Captain from 2014 to 2016.
Umer Mansoor is the entrepreneurial founder and CEO of Construction Helpline. Umer provides dynamic leadership and believes in streamlining card acquisition and training in construction, using inventive technology-based applications and well-thought-out processes. Umer has been the driving force behind Construction Helpline and is looking toward shaping the construction industry further by accelerating digitalisation in training. Umer understands the disadvantages tradespeople — site workers, project managers and architects — face. That’s why Umer is using his platform to promote effective change for a stronger, efficient construction workforce.
LYR has an extra level of governance that includes a group of Members that oversee the Annual General Meeting and the Annual Lunch held every October in central London and sign off the annual accounts and any and all returning and new Directors to the board of LYR
London Youth Rowing works in partnership with a wide range of organisations and welcomes support including partnerships, direct funding, volunteering and value in kind donations. If you would like to learn more about how you could work with London Youth Rowing, please visit our LYR Champions page or contact Andy Triggs Hodge, Director of Events and Corporate Partnerships email@example.com
We are proud to work with the following partners: