GB Para-rowers train with London Youth Rowing juniors in webinar workout

Six members of the GB Rowing Para squad and coaches held an innovative Giza Pyramid webinar session with London Youth Rowing last Saturday

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Seventy-four young rowers from London Youth Rowing trained alongside six GB Para-rowers in a Saturday morning session entitled the Giza Pyramid Complex.

Paralympic champion Lauren Rowles joined world champions Ellen Buttrick, Giedre ‘G’ Rakauskaite, Ollie Stanhope and Erin Kennedy, together with world finalist Ben Pritchard, in the session. They were keen to provide something fun for juniors to do, while also keeping them in touch with the sport during the pandemic.

High Performance Coach Nick Baker said: “Since lockdown we’ve encouraged our group to use the time they gain back from not having to travel and a slightly reduced training programme to give back to the community in creative ways.”

After the session Ollie Stanhope said: “It was nice to see that people in the rowing community are keen to take part and that kids are still being active. As a whole group it felt good that people were appreciating the work that Tom [Dyson], especially had put in, but also the guys from our squad in taking part.”

Posting on Twitter, Ellen Buttrick said: “Just had one of the best mornings of solo training, joined by 74 LYR athletes as we tackled a tough pyramid session on the ergo. Thank you for tuning in and rowing along with us, it definitely made the minutes fly by.”

With an Egyptian theme, the session included three different pyramids of varying lengths with each pyramid increasing in intensity followed by the final twist – a tough climb up the head of the Great Sphinx of Giza!

Tom Dyson, Lead Coach Paralympic Pathway, had prepared some eye-catching graphics to keep the rowers engaged.

Just had one of the best mornings of solo training, joined by 74 LYR athletes as we tackled a tough pyramid session on the ergo

Nick said: “We have been creating adventure challenges since the team had to move away from centralised training at Caversham.

“As well as the pyramids of Giza we have taken trips up Alpe d’Huez, climbed the Galibier, traversed the three peaks and climbed Everest.

“These sessions still hit the physiological outcomes we are looking for from the training, but keep the rowers interested and challenged – massively important given we still have over a year to Tokyo and could be limited to the rowing machines for a little while yet.”

Nick was thrilled to see the positive feedback on social media afterwards with many of the juniors and their parents telling the rowers directly how much they had enjoyed it.

He added: “My favourite part of the webinar was seeing the picture from a parent afterwards of a youngster on his ergo at home following the session on a laptop and loving it. That young lad and the 73 others that could make the call is who this was for.”

After taking part, Daisy, a junior rower at Thames Tradesmen Rowing Club, said: “I never thought I would be able to have the opportunity to train with the GB Para Rowing Team and it gave me a bit of insight into how they train, which has confirmed that this is something I definitely want to pursue.

We have taken trips up Alpe d’Huez, climbed the Galibier, traversed the three peaks and climbed Everest

“It also gave me a lot of motivation to continue and keep up with my training during lockdown. The training was the perfect amount of difficulty and I was able to complete it. This was a very good way to spend a Saturday morning!”

Her parents also appreciated the opportunity, with one saying: “Daisy loved the session this morning and was completely chuffed to have had a response to a message she sent to Lauren Rowles!

“Thanks for all this stuff, it really does help to motivate.”

Meanwhile, a parent of another junior rower from Active Row commented: “Thanks for arranging the session this morning. My son really enjoyed it and it was something a bit different for him to do as the days are feeling very monotonous.”

Ollie Stanhope added: “We owe a big thank you to the people at London Youth Rowing who got as many people involved as they could.

“As a publicly funded programme there is a sense within the squad that wherever possible we should try to give back to the community. This row along was a great opportunity to do that.

I never thought I would be able to have the opportunity to train with the GB Para Rowing Team

“Along with that, a simpler aim was just to help kids and people that may want to go further in the sport by mixing up their training and keeping them motivated, which in turn keeps us motivated.”

Speaking for London Youth Rowing, CEO Matt Rostron said: “London Youth Rowing has been providing young people with amazing opportunities and experiences for many years.

“We get the chance to work with some fantastic partners, supporters and friends that help us do this, and this collaboration with GB Para-Rowing has certainly been one of the best experiences to date.

“To be able to provide an opportunity to train with top athletes and for them in turn to engage and inspire dozens of our young people, was a real pleasure and a privilege to be part of.

“The GB Paralympic Team were incredibly generous with their time and so open to supporting from the start. These amazing athletes have now built a budding fan base with our rowers, and we hope to be part of more sessions like this in the future.”

You can watch the Giza Pyramid Complex workout session here >>> 

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