The Active Row programme has become a transformative force in the Leeds, Bradford, and Wakefield communities since its launch in September 2021. As of the current school year, 27 schools actively participate in the program, fostering engagement with over 354 unique participants. These participants represent the diverse fabric of our society, with 47% hailing from ethnic minorities and 9% identifying with special educational needs or disabilities.

Led by Tom Davidson, the Active Row Programme Manager, alongside dedicated session coaches and local volunteers, the program also benefits from the involvement of two placement students from Leeds Beckett University. These students not only contribute to the program’s success but also serve as inspiring role models for the young participants. Efforts are underway to expand the volunteer base, particularly targeting local universities such as Leeds Trinity University and Leeds University.

The on-water sessions in Leeds are set to commence at Easter, with schools booking rowing sessions at Roundhay Park. Additionally, teacher training opportunities have been extended to all participating schools, resulting in four schools embracing the initiative. Positive feedback from these sessions highlights the potential for expanding teacher training to more schools, thereby increasing the reach of indoor rowing.

The collaboration with Leeds Rowing Club has proven instrumental in providing a pathway for students interested in pursuing rowing beyond the program. This partnership not only facilitates access to coaching and facilities but also introduces over 20 young individuals to rowing who otherwise might not have had the opportunity.

An exciting development is the revival of the LYR Leeds Schools Indoor Competitions, with the first event held on December 7th, featuring 5 schools and 48 Key Stage 3 students. The positive response has paved the way for another event following NJIRC North on February 23rd, where approximately 800 young participants from Active Row schools will compete.

An impactful aspect of the program is the recently conducted Social Return on Investment Study, in collaboration with ‘State of Life.’ The study showcases the program’s significant positive impact on participants’ overall life satisfaction, mental health, and well-being. The findings demonstrate that Active Row delivers over £40 of social benefit for every £1 invested, demonstrating its remarkable efficiency in creating positive societal change.

The Active Row programme is not merely about rowing; it’s about fostering inclusivity, building resilience, and positively impacting the lives of young individuals in Leeds, Bradford, and Wakefield.

London Youth Rowing – Leeds are beneficiaries of the Boat Race Fund and you can find out more about London Youth Rowing and the work that they do in both London and Leeds