The world’s largest, and most inclusive indoor rowing competition, the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships (NJIRC), will return in person on 3 March 2023.
Marking the return of the in-person event for the first time since 2020, and following two hugely successful years as a virtual event, NJIRC 2023 will return to London’s Copper Box Arena on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Alongside the existing NJIRC, which has taken place in London since 2007, London Youth Rowing (LYR) has announced the launch of the inaugural NJIRC North, which will see the face-to-face competition take place simultaneously in Leeds.
This reflects NJIRC’s core ethos of making the event accessible and inclusive for all and will support this by enabling organisations and young people to participate while avoiding the cost and logistical challenges of travelling to London. This will make the event more accessible for young rowers from the North and Midlands of England.
The launch of NJIRC North has been made possible as a result of coordinated funding from Henley Royal Regatta Charity Trust (HRRCT) and British Rowing, supporting the running of the 2023 event, as part of the work from both organisations to make rowing as inclusive and accessible as possible.
As in previous years, NJIRC 2023 will also receive continued support from Sport England as part of their support for LYR’s engagement and Talent Inclusion programmes, and Concept 2 UK, who provide equipment and expertise to help run NJIRC each year, in addition to directly supporting LYR’s newly-launched Active Row Nottingham programme.
The announcement of NJIRC North follows the significant expansion of LYR’s flagship Active Row programme outside London into Yorkshire and Nottingham. NJIRC North will also be supported by the Gorse Academy Trust Rowing Programme in Leeds, another grassroots rowing programme that has enabled significant numbers of young people from across the city to take part in rowing in recent years.
Entries will be open to secondary school pupils aged from 11-18 (school years 7 -13), with both individual and relay events running at both the London and Leeds venues.
Race categories will include events for young people with special educational needs or a disability (SEND). Results from both sites will be collated in real-time to determine the overall winners in each race category. Medals will then be presented in live synchronised medal ceremonies in each location.
Entries will open from late October and be open until the middle of February.
Matt Rostron, LYR CEO, said: “NJIRC is back, and bigger than ever before. NJIRC 2023 will see thousands of young people up and down the country able to get together and ‘race-off’ in what is the indoor rowing blue ribbon event in the calendar.
“Not only will we be heading back to the wonderful Copper Box Arena in London, but to be able to open the NJIRC doors to Leeds is truly exciting. We want to thank the support, particularly of HRRCT and British Rowing in making NJIRC North happen in 2023, making NJIRC the most inclusive and diverse indoor rowing event in the world.”
Sir Steve Redgrave, Chairman of the Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust, said: “On behalf of the Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust, we are delighted that NJIRC will not only return in 2023 but also extend its reach into the North.
We are proud to work alongside London Youth Rowing to support both young and aspiring rowers, and hope that the expansion of the programme will enable greater access for those up and down the country.”
Alastair Marks, CEO of British Rowing, said: “British Rowing is delighted to be working with the HRR Charitable Trust to support LYR and NJIRC in 2023 and its expansion into a Northern Event too with the Gorse Academy.
With a long history in creating opportunities for people to enjoy rowing up and down the country we hope this is the start of many more opportunities to collaborate in the future to open up the sport and make it truly accessible for everyone.”
For more information, and to enter, please visit www.njirc.co.uk