London Youth Rowing has continued to expand its flagship Active Row program with the launch of a new rowing program in central London, Active Row Islington.
Active Row Islington will supply over 50 Concept 2 rowing machines to schools in the area, with the funding also supporting the provision of an Active Row trainer to oversee the project and set up indoor rowing clubs in each of the schools involved, as well as extracurricular indoor rowing clubs.
Students will then also have the opportunity to hit the water at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to apply the skills they learned at the indoor rowing club to training on the water.
A London Youth Rowing (LYR) Open Club has been set up at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to give Islington schoolboys the opportunity to practice and compete in rowing and through a new partnership with British Canoeing and Sport England the opportunity to train and race every level from fun to competitive.
Participating schools include Arts & Media School Islington, Beacon High (Islington Futures), Central Foundation Boys, EGA (Islington Futures), Highbury Fields School, St Aloysius’ College, City of London Academy HG, City of London Academy HH , City of London Academy Islington, St Mary Magdalene Academy, Samuel Rhodes School, The Courtyard and New River College.
Matt Rostron, Managing Director of London Youth Rowing said: “We believe this is the first partnership of its kind and funded in this way and we are incredibly excited to get started. This increased activity through the relationship with Islington Council, HRRCT, British Canoeing and Sport England will really boost the opportunities and deployment of the new LYR Water Sports pontoon on the QEOP.
“The growing partnerships between key stakeholders and LYR demonstrate a commitment to opening up the sport of rowing to young people across the country to promote the diversity of young people participating in the sport.”
Cllr Michelline Safi Ngongo, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families at Islington Council, added: “We are fully committed to giving our children and young people everything they need to have the best possible start in life. We all know how important physical activity is to our wellbeing so I’m delighted that this project will enable young people to develop healthy habits and have fun in a safe environment with new equipment and expert guidance from London Youth Rowing. ”
As with all of LYR’s programs, Active Row Islington will row both indoors and on the water, with a clear focus on enhancing equality, inclusivity and diversity. Of the 11-18 year olds introduced to rowing by LYR in 2021-22, 57 percent were from minority ethnic backgrounds, 41 percent were women, and 15 percent were SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) participants.
Active Row Islington was developed following discussions between LYR and the Local Authority Education Group with the idea of developing a district wide project for all Islington State Secondary Schools, including AP (Alternative Provision) and SEND units. This led to a collaboration with each of the schools which resulted in the creation of a plan that fits into Active Row London’s current program and encourages all schools to participate.
LYR’s Active Row program is expanding across the country, now running in Yorkshire, Kent, Nottingham and London.