The Boat Race Fund supported Warrington Youth Rowing to expand their programme by adding an additional hub. Greater Manchester Youth Rowing (GMYR) was launched with five secondary schools. The project based at Agecroft Rowing Club, now hosts 36 on water sessions across four hubs every week. Hundreds of young people, drawn from over thirty schools in the area, take part.
The funding enabled Warrington Youth Rowing project leader, Ben Dunne, to engage with headteachers about the potential long-term benefits of rowing. He worked with Richard Sinnontt to encourage a network of rowing clubs, which had previously lain empty during the day, to open their doors and welcome young people from local state schools to learn to row.
The rowing programme is delivered to children who are at risk of underachieving (othrwise known as the ‘Pupil Premium Cohort’). In this area, rowing is now used as an ‘early intervention tool’, enabling schools to engage and develop their most vulnerable students. Outcomes included:
- Improved attendance for those with persistent absence
- Reduction in exclusions from school
- Improved positive attitude & confidence
Over 300 students from disadvantaged backgrounds will be rowing every week, during the school day, at their local rowing club.
Warrington Youth Rowing was established in 2016 to open up the sport of rowing to young people who might otherwise not have the opportunity. The charity has three hubs across Warrington, Liverpool, Northwich and Manchester. The Boat Race and Gemini are proud to have helped to drive the expansion of this organisation.
Warrington Youth Rowing provides the high level coaching required for both the water and land based sessions. The charity also trains the school staff that bring the students down to the clubs as Level 2 coaches so that in time.
Photos by Lauren Barclay