Kent Adaptive Rowing project gets off to a flying start

Kent Adaptive Rowing Project: Child on adaptive rowing machineOn Monday 17th March 2008, Kings School Canterbury hosted an indoor rowing session for 32 young people with a range of disabilities from schools from across Kent.

The project was led by Alastair Mckean, Paralympian and 2007 World Silver Medallist, and Paul Panton from the Kent Sports Development Unit – Kent County Council. The aim for the session was to provide an introduction to the sport and a taster of technique and competition.

Using adaptive seats and ‘active hands’ gloves all the young people, who had a range of physical and learning disabilities, had a chance to have some coaching in the first hour of the day, followed by team racing.

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Canterbury and KCC Member Geoff Curwood spoke, emphasising how the day had demonstrated that rowing really is for all and how exciting the next steps of project will be. Alastair Mckean from Herne Bay Rowing Club and James Morgan from Deal Rowing Club are both training for the Beijing Paralympic Games with GB Rowing and are fantastic role models for young people in Kent.

The development of the Adaptive rowing project will allow these and many other children to experience both indoor and outdoor rowing in suitable environments local to them.

Thank you to the Kings School Canterbury for hosting the day, the Kent Sports Development Unit – Kent County Council, particularly Mike Bishop, Paul Panton and Karen Bird, Dover Rowing Club, Alastair Mckean, Emily Heath, Jacqui Close, the Amateur Rowing Association’s National Adaptive Development Officer, and Ben Addison from Concept 2. Finally, a big thank you to all the participants for taking part with so much enthusiasm.

Kate Beaumont
ARA Coaching & Development Officer
South East River and Coast

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