The first full year of school activities for EAYR has been a busy and tremendously exciting one, with expanding capacity, new initiatives and some incredibly exciting events tanking place, none of which would be possible without Love Rowing.
Schools on the water in Cambridge
This year EAYR has seen young people from five Cambridge schools participate in water rowing sessions on the River Cam and in the Cambridge Rowing Tank. With the support of partner clubs City of Cambridge, Cambridge 99s, Cantabrigians and the wider Cambridge Rowing Association we have been able to make facilities and equipment available to resource these sessions free of charge to students.
Photo: Year 7 girls from Cambourne Village College and Cambourne Football Club take to the water in Cambridge.
Swimming and capsize drills
EAYR aims to make rowing a sport for all, and we actively seek to overcome barriers to accessing our sport. One important challenge for any water sport is providing safe inclusion for those who are less confident in water, and have had few opportunities to learn to swim. This year we have been piloting Survival Swimming and Capsize Drill sessions for students of North Cambridge Academy thanks to the generous support of the Leys School Cambridge, who have allowed us to use their pool, purchased a dedicated capsize boat, and provided staff members and Student Leaders as facilitators. We couldn’t be more grateful!
Photo: EAYR. Survival Swimming and capsize drills at the Leys School pool.
PE teacher training and ergs, certificates
In 2023 we have started to establish a network of ‘No River Rowing Clubs’ in state schools a little further removed from the nearest rowing club, this has allowed us to target some of the areas of greatest deprivation in East Anglia. Thanks to funding from LoveRowing we have been able to purchase and refurbish ergos, including some donated by the University of Cambridge Sports Centre. As part of our programme we offer training for PE teachers in running indoor rowing sessions, and have trained eight staff members this year. These Indoor Rowing schools take part in individual and team challenges within school, as well as competitions with other schools at local level, with plans for future regional events in development.
We are also delighted to support water Taster Sessions for students from these schools, including in 2023 holiday sessions at Isle of Ely Rowing Club, and an Aspiration Event for six Fenland schools at the Cambridge University Boathouse in June.
Photo: EAYR. Ergs donated by Cambridge University Sports Centre and refurbished thanks to LoveRowing.
Photo: Row360/Boat Race Company Ltd. Six schools, including EAYR ‘No River Rowing Clubs’ had the opportunity for water taster sessions at an Aspiration Event hosted at the Cambridge University boathouse in Ely.
Indoor Rowing Regattas
EAYR schools have taken part in two large ergo competitions in Cambridge this year, an EAYR hosted schools division of the inter-college event at Queens’ College, and our inaugural EAYR Indoor Spring Regatta, hosted this year at Coleridge Community College. Both events brought students and their supporters together in an incredible atmosphere, and saw excellent performances and teamwork across the board. At our Spring event we were delighted to award LoveRowing medals to four outstanding students from different schools, who had each exhibited true sportsmanship and embodied the Sprit of the event.
Photo: Queens’ Ergs – indoor rowing and a university access visit combined, fulfilling EAYR’s aims of inclusion, challenge and aspiration.
Row through at HRR
EAYR students also had the opportunity to experience the atmosphere and prestige of the world’s most famous rowing regatta with a Stewards row through on finals day at Henley Royal Regatta 2023. The row through honoured projects supported by the Henley Stewards Charitable Trust, and two EAYR schools and their Partner clubs were represented: North Cambridge Academy, supported by City of Cambridge RC, and Ely College, supported by Isle of Ely RC. The students had an incredible time rowing the famous course between the booms and in front of grandstands full of cheering rowing fans, an incredible experience to round off the school rowing year.
Photo: EAYR – Students from North Cambridge Academy getting ready to row the Henley course
New developments in Norfolk
EAYR programmes have recently expanded into Norfolk, with successful pilot sessions at Whitlingham Boathouses and Norwich Rowing Club for Primary and Secondary schools, and Taster Sessions and an upcoming holiday camp catering for looked after children in partnership with Norfolk Virtual School.
Photo: EAYR – Framingham Earl High School take to the water in Norwich
Looking ahead to the 23/24 academic year we are excited to build on our programme of indoor rowing teacher training and intra- and inter-school events, as well as increasing provision of water taster sessions for our ‘No River Rowing Clubs’ and welcoming new cohorts at each of our established water rowing schools. With a visit to Henley Royal Regatta this year, who knows what excitement will be in store for 2024!