Teesside University holds the first ever Tees Valley Schools indoor rowing event

Teesside University Indoor Rowing Event

SPORTS keen youngsters were put through their paces at an
indoor rowing event held at Teesside University last week.

The first ever Tees Valley Schools indoor rowing event gave
the youngsters the opportunity to race against other students their own age,
aided by software which projected the race onto a big screen. Pupils ranging from 11-18 year old took part in the event,
organised by a partnership between SUNEE, Sports Universities North East
England, Tees Valley competition Managers and British Rowing.

Sport Development Outreach Officer, Vickie Todd said: “The event was a great success
and a reflection of the fantastic partnership between ourselves, British Rowing
and the competition manager.

“Through this partnership we were able to provide a high
quality event, using the expertise of British Rowing; student volunteers to
support the running of the event, the university facilities, while ensuring the
event met the needs of the schools and compliments the school competition
structure.”

The participants competed for different periods of time
depending on their age; however a Gold Medal Target was set so youngsters could
compare themselves against others based on their percentage of their Gold Medal
Target.

James Kessell,
17, from Yarm School was the overall winner, completing 2000metres in 6minutes
26 seconds to finish with an impressive 108.61% of his Gold Medal Target.

James said: “The event has been well set up, and will be really good as it
grows with more people getting involved.

“It could be the start of something good because once people
get involved and get their first taste of winning they want to carry on, and
even if you lose you know if you keep training you can win.

“That’s the brilliant thing about rowing; it is a sport
where you get out what you put in.

“You don’t necessarily have to be that talented, just be
willing to work hard.”

 The standard throughout the event was notably high, with six
other pupils finishing with a Gold Medal Target percentage of over 100%.

Indoor Rowing Event at Teesside University16 student volunteers helped with the running of the event,
while the universities rowing club members helped the youngsters to make sure
they were using the equipment properly.

Student Volunteer Stephen Murphy, who studies Applied Sports
Science at Teesside University said: “Kids, like adults love competition and to
do it in an environment like this one helps their development when they leave
school.

“It really is good to see so much interest.”

This event was a gateway to the regional finals held at
Durham University, 2nd March 2010, which the top 4 young people from
each age category have all qualified to attend and compete against the best
across the North East Region.

Rob Cree, the British Rowing Development Team Leader for the North East is
extremely pleased with these new developments in the sport:

“British Rowing are keen to support school based indoor rowing
programmes and the indoor racing that comes out of these programmes. In the
North East, we are developing a great hierarchy of competitions based within
Schools, Partnerships, Counties and the region itself, in co-operation with all
partners and especially the Competition Managers framework and the SUNEE
programme”

The event is looking to be developed even further next year in the Tees
Valley with the introduction of district finals that will lead to the Tees
Valley Finals, another huge step forward for Rowing in the Tees Valley.

Report from Dominic Shaw

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