Home Grown. World Class.

Q&A with Gorse Academies Trust (Yr 8 - 13)

We asked some of the beneficiaries of our RowLeeds Programme what they thought about rowing. For the full effect, read these with a South Leeds, Yorkshire accent. 

what did you know about rowing before you started?

"Nothing apart from what I'd seen at the Olympics"

Tiny boats

"Expensive, posh and you have to pay for it"

what made you want to try indoor rowing at school?

"I had to do it in PE"

Something a bit different

"Fun and active"

"Most of my mates do rowing"

what do you like about rowing on the water?

"Pushed us to do our best"

You can't give up

"We get to go to London"

"The angrier I get, the faster the boat goes, so that's good"

"Stress Reliever"

are your parents supportive of you rowing?

"Parents love it, they are really supportive. They see it as a great opportunity"

"Grandmother boasts about me going to races and winning medals"

"My parents are always there at the races. Almost too much!"

"It's great because our parents get to see us at our best"

do you like racing?

"Competition and training are both great but racing is so important because you get to see the work pay off"

We get to meet other kids and talk to them

"Our competitors are friendly and give us tips. This is unique to rowing. You are not allowed to be rude"

"You can see yourself winning because your opposition are behind you. This is only sport you can see like this"

"Widens your horizons"

what do you like about being at the boathouse?

"It's much better than football because you move out of your area. I've been to York and Runcorn and I never would have done that in football"

You get to talk to adults. You get to cox them. They don't talk down to you.

"Meeting different people by chance"

"It's like a family. Everyone is friendly"

how has rowing helped you in other areas of your life

"Makes me nicer. I'm not as angry. Exercise calms me down"

"Different friendship groups from rowing"

Brings me out of my shell

"It was nerve-racking at first coming down by myself. But I've made new friends. We bonded very quickly"

RowUK is supporting the RowLeeds partnership in bringing life-changing opportunities to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Through sport, we are developing junior rowers, introducing them to new and different experiences, and building their aspirations and self-belief.


At the Leeds Boathouse, we have created an atmosphere of collaboration where the members from Leeds Rowing Club, the University of Leeds Boat Club and The Gorse Boat Club all work together to support the growth of our young people.


Down at the boathouse we operate under the maxim that ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. All three clubs are committed to creating a fun and safe environment by providing strong role models who take the time to encourage big dreams through hard work.


Our dream scenario is for local kids to come through our junior programme, progress to the University of Leeds Boat Club and then graduate into Leeds Rowing Club to continue rowing and give back to the kids who will follow their example.

Our fund, 'Pulling Together' supports this ground-breaking programme. 

Interesting in donating your time or resource?

Get in touch. 

want your school, college, university or city to be next?