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Schools Case Studies

Plymstock School Sports Partnership Indoor Rowing Project

Date Added: Wed, 18 Apr 2007

Related tags: Competition, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 3, Inter-school, Project Setup

Plymstock School Sports Partnership is directed by Rob Wright the Partnership Development Manager (PDM) supported by six School Sport Co-ordinators (SSCo's) and one Specialist Link PE teacher. Since April 2006 Kevin Sellar, an ARA Community Sports Coach, is in post co-ordinating the programme and delivering on-water taster sessions.


Our aim is to establish and integrate Indoor and on-water Rowing into the sports programme at each of the partnership schools. We want to work and collaborate with all interested organisations and people to make Plymouth a Rowing City.


Start Point

Formal and informal auditing work showed a need for this project. A survey of all resources available included an overview of what could be changed to meet the objectives with the minimum of time and cost. A gap analysis helped define how we could achieve these changes together with a timescale plan. The SSCO's and other interested supporters were invited to an open meeting. Our agenda was to review the potential within the unique environment of Plymouth for promoting watersports and integrating the three important areas of education, sport and health. A shared vision was agreed by the team and commitment, together with open communication has helped develop our success.

The annual Strata Survey highlighted that 80% of Young People said they would like to take part in a new activity. The breadth of programmes and activities provided in schools are often dictated by staff interests and skills. The weakness is when there is a lack of expertise from staff to meet the needs of the children. Our plans had to address staff development. We wanted to engage more children in healthy physical activity, develop competitive out of school hours learning and provide a pathway into Outdoor and Adventurous activities.

In July 2004 the Partnership bought sixteen Concept 2 Model D Indoor Rowers. We also started an ongoing programme of staff training. We have held four Dry Instructors Courses for anyone interested. They have qualified teaching and non-teaching staff and post 16 year old students. The start up funding came from our Partnership budget. We receive this from schools contributions and sponsorship in addition to our DfES grant which covers most of the cost for our infra structure posts. The initial plan was to move the machines between the partner primary schools every half term after an introduction to Indoor Rowing through taster sessions.

What has been established and achieved so far

In March the second annual West of England Indoor Rowing Championships took place at Plymstock School with over 240 competitors from twenty schools across Devon and Cornwall racing in individual and team events.

What has been the impact?

The project has made a good start with students regularly attending Indoor Rowing Clubs on school sites and some joining water based gig rowing and traditional (fine boat) clubs.



Indoor Rowing is one of the few activities that captures the interest of every child including those with impairments and disabilities. We expect to consolidate our resources in the next twelve months so that we can sustain and grow the operation. This will be through ongoing Staff development and training, regular testing to measure improvements and more rewards for success at competitions. We will widen the scope of Indoor Rowing through cross-curricular work, especially supporting projects for examination modules. Personalised training programmes will help us with feedback of use and monitoring the numbers of children using the Indoor Rowers.

In our Plymouth secondary schools there are now 500 children who regularly use Indoor Rowers during curriculum time and out of hour's clubs and this summer we expect to have 50 youngsters progressing to on-water rowing.

Contact for Rob Wright and Kevin Sellar:

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