With the countdown to Rio 2016 underway, young people from sporteducate clubs S-Factor Academy, Carney’s Community Burgess Sports and Rap-Aid , got into the Olympic spirit on Thursday 14 July 2016 when they were given the unique opportunity to take to the water to try rowing for the very first time, under the expert tutelage of Olympic Gold medallist, Mark Hunter MBE.
Swapping their trainers for oars, young people from sporteducate participated in a special rowing workshop designed to take them out of their comfort zones and develop key life skills that could be transferred back into the classroom and work. The event was organised as part of sporteducate, a unique education programme run by Sported and Deutsche Bank’s youth engagement programme, Born to Be, that uses sport to improve the aspirations and life chances of young people in London.
At London Regatta Centre in London’s docklands, participants were first treated to an off-the-water rowing coaching session from London Youth Rowing (LYR) coaches to learn the fundamentals of the sport. Drawing on his life growing up in the East End of London and his experiences reaching the pinnacle of his sport, Mark Hunter (both an ambassador for Sported and current Programme Director at LYR) followed this by leading the group through a workshop on aspirations, supported by Deutsche Bank volunteers. The sporteducate event culminated in the young participants taking to the water to put their newly acquired knowledge and leadership skills into practice, as they coached the Deutsche Bank volunteers in the art of rowing.
Mark Hunter, Sported ambassador and Programme Director at London Youth Rowing, said: “Rowing is a real leveller. Most of the young people today had never stepped into a boat before, so it’s a fantastic way to get them to challenge their assumptions and challenge what they think’s possible.”
Ben Sadler, sporteducate Programme Manager at Sported, said: “Sporteducate is all about giving young people in London unique opportunities to broaden their horizons and develop key life skills, all through the power of sport.”