Brixton WingsBrixton Wings is a parent led voluntary grassroots organisation constituted in 2010 bya group of parents from low-income marginalised households, whose mission was and remains to advance the life chances and ‘lived experiences’ of young people, who might otherwise fail to engage with, or have access toniche sports or classically trained musicianship learning. The centre in the Angel Town estate in Brixton hosts up to 100 children and young people per week participating in activities from Royal School of Music piano grading classes, guitar lessons and band-workshops to composition, improvisation and performance. Their partnership with London Youth Rowing (LYR) allows us to offer an indoor and on-water rowing hub, which complements a host of other early intervention and development activities.
The Gemini Boat Race are delighted to support this ‘can do’ grassroots organisation formed in 2010 whose mission is to advance the life chances and ‘lived experiences’ of young people, who might fail to engage with, or have access to niche sports. Brixton Wings helps participants realise essential life skills through sport.
Over the years Brixton Wings have introduced over 500 young people from South London to the sport of rowing and our mission is to continue in that vein. As new learn to row (L2R) participants are welcomed onto our programmes, our advanced rowers gain experience through volunteering and through accreditation pathways within the sport. A particular case study tracks the journey of a young carer, fearful of new challenges and rowing, became an accomplished L2R novice and is now rowing while at Oxford Brooks University, having gained a distinction as a Level 2 rowing coach through a Coach Core apprenticeship programmes, delivered and presented in collaboration with LYR. At Brixton Wings they recognise the value of opportunities and resources available to us, directed toward genuine social mobility opportunities for participants coming from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds. Through their music, rowing and Saturday School provisions, we help participants realise essential life skills. Whether participants are improving coordination and concentration whilst playing a music instrument or gaining confidence in communicating during a rowing class, we strive to support positive behaviours and wider life outcomes.
The Gemini Boat Race funding will support underrepresented 11–18-year-olds from Brixton and Lambeth to join ‘Learn to Row’ development rowing courses over the half-term holiday in Autumn 2021 and will support life coaching and intergenerational conversations. Gemini and The Boat Race recognised the impact of Brixton Wings work, in improving coordination and concentration, gaining confidence in communicating and supporting positive behaviours and wider life outcomes.