Launch of new initiative: Row East London!
Row East London! hopes to be one of the major programmes in East London designed to maximise the Olympic legacy. The programme aims to encourage young Londoners age 11 to 18 into physical activity and sport through a programme of indoor rowing. Row East London! also has a strong focus on providing pathways to rowing and other sports.
2008 Beijing Paralympic gold medallist Tom Aggar, whose club Royal Docks Rowing Club is in one of the East London and Olympic boroughs, will be joined at the launch by 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallists Peter Reed and Tom James and 2008 Beijing Olympic silver medallists Katherine Grainger and Frances Houghton.
Kate Hoey MP, former Minister for Sport and advisor to Mayor of London Boris Johnson will help launch the initiative, alongside the Mayors of East London boroughs of Waltham Forest and Barking and Dagenham and the Deputy Mayor of Havering. Sebastian Coe, Chairman of London 2012, is unable to attend the launch, but sent this message of support to London Youth Rowing:
"I am delighted to hear about this new initiative and it is fantastic that so many schools have taken this on board throughout 10 host and Gateway boroughs. With this in the build up to the London 2012 Games, it can only help to achieve our objectives of inspiring more young people take up sport and improve sporting access across the country. Not only will this inspire more people to choose sport but it will leave a lasting legacy of the London 2012 Games."
London Youth Rowing will establish indoor rowing clubs in 50% of schools as well as some youth and community clubs in the 10 East London and Olympic boroughs, and will provide training and support for the coaches and volunteers who will deliver the programme.
The scheme will be run for free for the first year, with a modest charge in subsequent years so that the project becomes self-sustaining within the boroughs.
The launch will take place at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships, a major indoor rowing competition for young people from across the UK. Over a thousand participants are expected to take part in the championships this year.
The impressive number of participants reflects the increasingly popularity of indoor rowing, which is suitable for people of all ages because it is low-impact and accessible to all. It can form part of a competitive training schedule or simply be used recreationally to increase fitness and health.