The Gemini Boat Race Bursary’s second grant will support London Youth Rowing (LYR) with the expansion of the Active Row Leeds programme to Wakefield.
Following the Gemini Boat Race bursary announcement on 1 April, we are pleased to announce the second grant of £25,000 to London Youth Rowing to expand its Active Rowing programme outside London. The initiative is expected to target 250 young people in 10 different schools, starting with indoor rowing and with access to on water rowing through Leeds Rowing Club.
The Gemini Boat Race Bursary will be used to support the scaling up of the Active Row Leeds programme, the first main expansion outside London for London Youth Rowing. The bursary enables LYR to purchase essential rowing equipment like rowing machines and aids to support participation from young people with special educational needs. This will allow the programme to be offered to schools in Wakefield and Bradford, supported by the LYR coach based in Leeds. The Gemini Boat Race Bursary will leverage the investment made in the programme by Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust.
The scaled-up programme will increase impact of the Active Row Leeds programme by engaging more schools and young people and proving the experience for participants by being part of a bigger project leading to bigger and even more fun within the local competition events.
Removing barriers to access to rowing is a key driver for both Gemini Founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and the Boat Race Company. Funding equipment allows scaling up for LYR and this project will bring young people who may never have considered trying rowing to try the sport.
Blair Halliday, Head of Gemini UK said: “The Gemini Boat Race Bursary grants are designed to open up rowing to students from a more diverse pool of socio-economic backgrounds, and to increase opportunities for students from a wider array of geographic locations. The expansion of the Active Row Leeds initiative embodies both of these goals, especially as London Youth Rowing has demonstrated success with its current programmes on the ground. As we continue to grow as a company in the UK, we are thrilled to provide resources and opportunities to young people across the country to compete in perhaps previously inaccessible arenas.”
The energetic and professional LYR coaching team will be supported by RowLeeds plus volunteers from local universities. Training provided to teachers will ensure the programme can be delivered sustainably. The rowing machines will be available for use in promoting grassroots rowing.
Tim Senior, Chair of The Boat Race Company said: “One of our strategic goals is to help shape a better shared future, using the history and heritage of the Boat Race to support a more inclusive and representative future in rowing. Supporting beneficiaries such as LYR will help a broader group of young people gain vital sporting experiences and learn new skills to transfer into everyday life.”
The Gemini Boat Race Bursary award aims to purchase sufficient rowing machines to enrol an additional 10 Target schools, engaging with a minimum of 25 young people per year (250 participants minimum). The programme will be offered to a diverse audience including those with special educational needs or a disability.
Matt Rostron, CEO, London Youth Rowing said: “After an incredible announcement that LYR will be branching outside of London for the first time, to Leeds, and now to be following up with this news is not only very exciting but a sign of the positive commitment to purpose-led social impact through sport, from organisations such as Gemini and The Boat Race. This very generous funding will enable us to expand on our Active Row Leeds programme which will now not only deliver coaching and investment but can purchase equipment to make rowing accessible for so many young people. Whilst this specific funding will be used to purchase equipment such as rowing machines and to hire a part-time coach, we will also be able to introduce these young people to potential on-water venues and activities and work with them to further their development and access to sport, and the benefits.”
An allocation of the funding will also be used to help fund additional coaching, where required, to help with delivering the programme in schools. LYR will provide resources, training, on-line support, monthly online challenges, termly local competitions, and the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships, as well as securing opportunities for on water taster sessions with participating schools.
This is an exciting collaboration for The Boat Race and our Principal Partners Gemini as we take The Boat Race values and love of rowing to an even wider audience. This is going to be an active partnership for The Boat Race Company, the Oxford and Cambridge teams and Gemini as together we work to create a better shared future for young people through rowing.
To read more about LYR’s work in Leeds click this LINK
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