London Youth Rowing (LYR), in partnership with Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust (HRRCT), has announced further expansion of its successful Active Row programme, launching the provision in Nottingham.
The planned three-year funding partnership will see HRRCT provide LYR with the financial backing required to launch this additional Active Row location outside of the Capital, for the second year running, following the launch of Active Row Leeds in 2021.
HRRCT funding will allow LYR to employ a full-time rowing coach to be based in Nottingham to lead the rollout of Active Row Nottingham to ten schools across the city.
This new programme will follow the successful model used previously in London and Leeds, aiming to partner with schools to ensure that the opportunity to take part in rowing benefits those with the least opportunities.
The growing partnership between HRRCT and LYR demonstrates the commitment of both organisations to opening up the sport of rowing to young people across the country to boost the diversity of young people taking part in the sport
Each school will receive up to five rowing machines on long term loan from September 2022 and receive coaching from LYR and student volunteers from local universities.
The work in Nottingham will reflect the work that LYR has been doing in London since 2005 and its new Active Row project that opened in Leeds last year, continuing to will work with young people from the least advantaged areas.
Almost 30% more children in Nottinghamshire are claiming free school meals now compared to the amount being claimed at the start of the pandemic in April 2020.
A report revealed that the number of young people claiming free school meals across the county in April 2020 was 19,783 but that this had risen to 23,649 by April 2021 – a 19.5% increase.
As with all of LYR’s programmes, Active Row Nottingham will combine both indoor and on-water rowing, with a firm focus on improving equality, inclusivity and diversity.
Of the 11-18-year-olds introduced to rowing by LYR in 2019-20, prior to the pandemic, 69% were from ethnic minority backgrounds, 49% were female and 8% were SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) participants.
Nottingham-based Concept2, the makers of the world’s leading indoor rowing machine, has also supported the launch of the programme close to their UK headquarters.
Concept2 created the original rowing ergometer (or rowing machine) in 1981 as a training tool for competitive athletes when the weather was too cold to get out onto the water.
It was quickly adopted by athletes outside of rowing as well for its convenient, effective workout. Since then, their rowers have earned a worldwide reputation for unrivalled function and are used across the rowing community, around the world.
HRRCT will also continue to fund LYR’s Active Row Leeds programme as it moves into its second year.
The programme featured recently on the BBC’s coverage of The 2022 Boat Race as an example of the benefits of grassroots rowing programmes, and is now working with 27 schools across Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford.
The Step Up coach development programme is also moving into its second year, again directly supported by HRRCT. The programme actively recruits sports coaches from under-represented backgrounds and teaches them the basics of coaching rowing, to help boost the diversity of the coaching workforce in rowing and help deliver rowing programmes with over 60 London state secondary schools through Active Row London.
Sir Steve Redgrave CBE, Chairman of Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust said: “The Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust is proud to continue to support the fantastic work of London Youth Rowing through its Active Row and Step Up programmes, and in particular to help LYR launch in another location outside London.
The Trust is committed to providing opportunities to make rowing more inclusive and provide opportunities for young people to enjoy the immense benefits the sport can have on both their physical and mental well-being.
The success of the Active Row programme over the past four years has been a great achievement and we are thrilled to be able to fund the expansion of the programme to Nottingham, as well as continue to support the Step Up coaching programme and Active Row Leeds, which after one year are already making visible progress in improving participation and inclusivity in our sport.”
Matt Rostron, CEO, London Youth Rowing said: “We are incredibly excited to be partnering again with Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust to launch Active Row Nottingham.
This will be our second major programme location outside London, after we launched Active Row Leeds last September, and we are very grateful to HRRCT for the chance to use Active Row to support more young people outside London to benefit from everything rowing has to offer.
“We are also delighted to continue our close relationship with Concept 2 and thank them for their amazing support over the years and in making Active Row Nottingham possible.
“As with all our other locations, Active Row Nottingham will help young people from underrepresented backgrounds to get active and to experience the benefits of rowing. Coming out of Covid, and as rowing grapples with how to be more inclusive, supporting young people in this way is more important than ever.”