RowLeeds Indoor Rowing Championships

The RowLeeds Indoor Championships are staged once a term and hosted by the University of Leeds at its state-of-the-art Gryphon Sports Centre. They are what all the RowLeeds schools are working towards and, in the short time they have been running, have already produced some outstanding results.

Each school sends a team of 10, with a boy and girl from each year group through Years 7-11. Each team member will race as an individual in their own age category before all coming together for the Team Relay at the end of the day.

We also have a Special Invitation race for those young people with physical, learning and sensory disabilities. It is quite something to see the whole crowd and competitors stop what they are doing in the middle of the day to give full voice to this important part of the event.


Autumn’s event fell on the 10th November and we had schools outside Leeds attend for the first time. For schools involved in our Indoor Rowing Programme, their coaches were in attendance to offer last minute

tips and race tactics. Whilst face painting, ping pong and various other activities kept nervous competitors entertained, it was hard to peel away from the drama on the big screen. Teammates, teachers, parents and friends screamed and shouted from behind the barriers, willing the last few strokes out of those on the race floor.

Coming into the last race of the day – the Team Relay – and the stakes were high. This double-pointed category meant that it was all to play for, with the winner likely to take the Victor Ludorum trophy. Each school conducted their hushed team talks as they waited for the race floor to open. Younger students looked up to older team captains as they issued last instructions. Once the 10 minutes were up, just one metre separated first and second place. No one could tell who had clinched the victory. After much tension, Ruth Gorse came out on top. The day also saw four British Rowing ‘Gold Standard’ times achieved, an impressive feat for those who had only just started rowing. The day was a great success and we are now looking forward to the Spring Champs on the 23rd February.

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