East Anglia Youth Rowing won British Rowing’s 2023 “Project of the Year” on Thursday for its work in providing opportunities for state school students in deprived areas to try the sport of rowing.

Set up in 2021 in Cambridge with a small number of schools and town rowing clubs, EAYR has grown swiftly and during the 2022/23 academic year, the project worked with pupils from 16 schools stretching across East Anglia. EAYR students enjoy an introduction to rowing on the water, indoor rowing competitions, swim training, summer camps and last year even took part in a beach sprint day ahead of the first Olympic appearance for Beach Sprints at this summer’s Games in Paris. Comments from students on the camps included: “I was scared of the water to start but now I love it” and “I like coming to the boathouse as it feels like home”.

EAYR Programme Manager and Head Coach Susannah Cass said: “This award is really a recognition of all the support and enthusiastic effort our regional schools, partner clubs and sponsors have put into making EAYR such a fun and inclusive programme for young people across the region keen to have a go at rowing.”

In July, students from schools involved in the project had the opportunity to row down the Henley Royal Regatta course during the lunch interval on finals day, one of the top days in the world rowing calendar.

EAYR supports schools within easy reach of a river, lake or coast to establish or continue links with a Partner Rowing Club, allowing students to participate in water rowing activities during curriculum time, while our 'no river rowing clubs' allow schools further away from a river to take up rowing as an indoor sport. Rowing is integrated into the school PE curriculum, extra-curricular clubs, and students participate in EAYR indoor challenges and competitions.

East Anglia Youth Rowing is made possible through the generosity of a wide rowing community and we are delighted to recieve the British Rowing Award in recognition of the commitment our rowing community is making to provide wider access to our sport for all.

26th January 2024

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