Row East London takes off at Indoor Rowing Champs

Triple Olympic silver medallist Katherine Grainger and former Sports Minister Kate Hoey yesterday launched Row East London!, a new initiative from London Youth Rowing designed to get more Londoners active.

By establishing indoor rowing clubs in schools, youth and community centres in the 10 East London and Olympic boroughs, London Youth Rowing aim to attract more young people into physical activity and particularly rowing.

Paralympic gold medallist Tom Aggar, whose club Royal Docks Rowing Club, is located in one of the 10 East London Olympic boroughs, was also present at the launch, alongside 2008 Olympic gold medallist Tom James and silver medallist Frances Houghton.

Speaking at the launch, Kate Hoey, who now advises the Mayor of London on sport, said: "East London has a huge population of young people and not enough of them take regular physical activity.  In the run up to the 2012 Olympics, we expect projects like Row East London! to get more young people on the path to a healthier lifestyle and to inspire them to take up sport.  I hope some some of these take up rowing and other water sports too."

The project has received significant support from Sport England. Thomas Godfrey, Sport England’s Commercial Director, praised the initiative, saying "Sport England is supporting the Row East London! progamme because it will bring quality sporting opportunities to young people in east London."

The launch took place at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships,where over a thousand youngsters from across the UK were competing.

Grainger was delighted to see so many young people involved in indoor rowing.

"It’s fantastic to see the number of young people who’ve come to take part in the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships and the quality of some of the racing", commented the triple Olympic silver medallist.

This ground breaking legacy initiative is the brainchild of the Chairman of London Youth Rowing and aims to attract more young people into sport. 

Di Ellis CBE, ARA Chairman, said “It was the most incredible experience to be greeted by 2000 young people preparing to take part in the launch of Row East London at Battersea Evolution and see their enthusiasm and skill as they competed, cheered on by our Olympic and Paralympic rowers”.

The full results of the championships are available from www.londonyouthrowing.com

Indoor rowing is an increasingly popular way to keep healthy because it provides an all-body workout and is low impact. As a result it is suitable for people of all ages, including those who have not been engaged in sport or regular physical activity in the past.

Row East London is sponsored by Sport England, The Amateur Rowing Association, The McGrath Trust, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Royal Docks Trust, The Drapers’ Company, The Metropolitan Police Authority, The Lee Valley Regional Part Authority, among other important sponsors.

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