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Schools Case Studies

Greater Manchester Indoor Rowing Festival

Date Added: Tue, 17 Feb 2009

Related tags: Competition, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 3, Inter-school, Sports Leaders

On Monday 9th February, the first Greater Manchester Schools Indoor Rowing Festival took place at the Manchester Velodrome. The purpose of the event was to provide school children from across the county with an opportunity to experience a sport that is a great way to exercise and improve fitness whilst being fun and inclusive at the same time.

Over 300 young people from 40 schools took part in both individual and timed races, many of which were representing their school in competition for the very first time. Children from Years 8 to 11 were targeted in the hope that the event would be used as a catalyst for ongoing participation and development.

Indoor rowing is a whole body exercise which is low impact and gives participants immediate feedback and a real sense of purpose which makes it especially attractive to those children who may not be interested in traditional PE as well as those of a more sporty inclination. Many of the participants had never tried indoor rowing before but were able to compete on a level footing and feedback from participants was fantastic. Full results are available in the Regional Race Results section.

The event itself was delivered by staff from Concept2 and heavily supported by the Amateur Rowing Association. 20 Junior Sports Leaders from Levenshulme High School in Manchester were also on hand as race officials for the day. With 40 Concept2 race machines in use, a huge screen projecting the race positions and live commentary taking place throughout, the atmosphere was electric!

As an added bonus, Tom James who was part of the men's four that won Olympic gold in Beijing was present on the day to hand out medals and certificate to all participants and proved to be a real inspiration.

The impressive number of entrants at the event reflects the ever-increasing level of interest in Indoor Rowing and following this taster day plans are already in place to create a more structured approach to Competition in 2010. The event will now become a regular feature on the Greater Manchester Schools sports calendar.

Matt Stocks, Senior Competition Manager for Greater Manchester said:

"The County is really excited about this new event. It was an incredible sight, huge screens showing rowers in action, and hundreds of children battling it out in individual and team races. Following the success of the Great Britain Rowing Team in Beijing, now is a great time to capture that energy and transfer the interest that young people have in rowing into action. We hope that this event will become a regular feature on the Greater Manchester sports calendar and we look forward to working in Partnership with Concept2 and the ARA in order to bring great sporting opportunities for children to life."

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