New partnership with London Youth Rowing
It was fitting to welcome the Head Coach of Team GB Rowing to present our awards at the recent Prize Giving and Speech evening, as the sport is going from strength to strength as part of the school’s sporting curriculum. The school has been designated an indoor rowing hub, accredited by London Youth Rowing (LYR) and, as such, we are in a very privileged position to able to provide free rowing coaching to our boys on a weekly basis. LYR set up the programme with the aim of increasing participation rates within the discipline at every level of competition from recreational to potential Olympic standard. Gunnersbury has grasped this opportunity and every week, groups of Year 8, 9 and 10 visit the University of London boathouse in Chiswick to spend time on the water with specialised coaches, honing their technique and developing their sculling skills in a 4 man boat. As of the start of the Easter term, we have taken receipt of five new rowing machines, to add to the three already available in school, giving our boys access to industry standard equipment, where specific fitness can be developed. The school’s new indoor rowing club will be launched at the start of the summer term and expert coaches will be invited into school to support and encourage boys in their pursuit of rowing excellence. It is hoped that, through this programme, the next Steve Redgrave will be discovered and many of our keen rowers are certainly showing great promise. Head of PE, Mr Darmon, reports : ‘I have personally seen the fantastic progress being made by the pupils who attend the on-water sessions. The difference from week one, when the boat hardly seems to move, to week 6, where all of the boys are rowing in unison as they zip up and down the river is extraordinary and only serves as an indication to even more exciting times in the future’.