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‘Race The Thames’ For Charity

London Youth Rowers

LYR (London Youth Rowing), the charity committed to providing opportunities to young people from inner city areas through rowing, has launched 2023’s edition of its annual fundraising virtual competition.

Race The Thames is an online, virtual event designed around effectively completing either the length of the tidal Thames or from source to sea. Teams of up to eight participate virtually using a range of sports to jointly cover the distance options, submitting their workouts to an online arena. 

Teams can choose to: ‘Race the River Thames – 346km, source to sea’ or ‘Race the Tidal Thames – 72km, Teddington to the North Sea’.

Taking place between 8-15 December, teams are asked to fundraise for LYR with a minimum target of £500 per team, equating to just over £50 per person. There is the option to split this in half with another charity of choice, through the Race The Thames fundraising platform. 

LYR works with schools in Yorkshire, Nottingham and Kent as well as London, supporting thousands of young people who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to try rowing, or enjoy the subsequent mental health, physical wellbeing, and social benefits of the sport. 

As well as its projects in London, LYR runs outreach programmes in towns and cities across the country and is successfully increasing the diversity within a sport which has traditionally been seen as out of reach for many young people in urban areas.

Andy Triggs Hodge, three-time Olympic rowing champion who supports LYR said: “Race The Thames is a vital cog in the running of LYR.

The fundraising support from teams taking part enables LYR to reach more young people who would otherwise be excluded from the life skills that LYR nurtures through rowing, kayaking and canoeing. LYR’s ambition is to help all of its young people achieve their potential by helping them break down the barriers around them.”

2023 marks the fourth edition of the virtual Race the Thames event which has seen over 300 teams enter over the past four years, fundraising over £300,000 to date. 

Aside from the fundraising potential around Race The Thames, Triggs Hodge firmly believes that the event offers participants wider benefits and life skills, through taking part.

“Race The Thames is about so much more than the fundraising,” claimed Triggs Hodge who added, “it gives teams the chance to come together as part of vital team building exercises and we know that the event has had a powerful impact over the past four years in bringing teams together. Teams could be corporates, sports clubs, families and friend, other charities even – anyone that wants to take part.”

“There are also the obvious benefits of supporting with physical activity and getting active. Race The Thames Virtual encourages regular activity and is ideal for those may need the motivation, or already are motivated, to get active.

Linked to this are the wider wellbeing benefits, particularly as winter draws in and wellbeing dips. Year-on-year we see the event give a natural boost to teams taking part.”

Here’s how Race The Thames Virtual works:

  • Get a team of eight to ‘race’ the Thames using any sport over the week.
  • There are two challenge distances – Race The Thames Source to Sea, 346km long and Race The Tidal Thames, 72km.
  • Participants can run, cycle, row, canoe and kayak as well as other sports too – just let LYR know what you are looking to do.
  • Available indoors or outdoors, from anywhere in the world.
  • Submitting scores is easily accessible via a simple online form.
  • The whole event comes to life on the virtual LYR Arena with the leader boards, map, media and highlights videos.
  • There is also a race event for those with rowing machines: 72km in a day.

The Fundraising and entry guidance is:

  • Crews should aim to fundraise a minimum of £500 per team.
  • Rowing clubs and other charities can buy places for £250 per team.
  • International crews can enter for £250 per team.
  • Teams all under the age of 18 enter for free, and are encouraged to bring an adult team.

The deadline to enter is 6th December 2023. To find out more, and enter, visit 

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