"Competition makes us faster, collaboration makes us better."
Last month, RowUK staged the final round of RowLeeds Indoor Championships for the 2017-18 season. Thanks to all of our partners and supporters, there was a real step change in terms of the scale of the event, making it bigger and better than ever before. Now a British Rowing qualifying race for the North of England Schools Games indoor rowing team, the RowLeeds Indoors has become a firm fixture in the school sport calendar and, in 2018-19, we will open up the event to schools nationwide.
After missing the February round and losing their title to Morley Academy, The Ruth Gorse Academy returned determined to make amends. In the end, they did so comfortably with a record 87 points to take the Victor Ludorum. Six other records were set across individual races and the Team Relay in what was a spectacular showing by students across all schools. Some of the teachers also competed in a two minute battle with some pretty inspirational efforts made.
An event like this cannot go ahead however, without the collaboration of different organisations across the city. First of all, the University of Leeds continues to make free the excellent Gryphon Centre as the ideal venue to stage the event, whilst also providing volunteers and VIPs with refreshments to keep them going through the long day. Running an event like this on the University campus is an important part of the work RowUK is doing to inspire young people to pursue higher education and UoL is a hugely committed partner in that endeavour.
A big thank you must go out to University of Leeds Boat Club Coach, Dan Grant for running the race software and to UoL Volunteer Manager, Suzzi Garnett for leading by example and coming down to help run the race floor. Many of the event volunteers were from UoLBC with some students even returning to Leeds during their holidays to help out. A special mention must also go to the UoLBC men’s first eight who broke off from their arduous Henley preparations to set up and pack down the event. They took some feeding!
Elsewhere, Leeds Rowing Club members took on various roles with the one and only Dudley Feather leading the race commentary to call the competitors over their final exhausted metres. Although they are too old to compete, the Elliott Hudson squad came down for the afternoon to run the race floor and cheer on the nervous novices who might one day follow in their footsteps and study and train at this Outstanding new Gorse post-16 college. They were all great role models for the younger students. Thanks also to Lanre from Bishop Young Academy for being our official photographer on the day. That boy is going to go far.
Finally, an event like this relies on the generous support of our sponsors. Thank you to Yorkshire Sport Foundation for helping to fund the loan rowing machines which allow the school squads to prepare for this event. To Leeds City Council and the Leeds School Sport Association, we are grateful for helping with the cost of medals, equipment, officiating and complimentary parking. To Harrogate Spring Water, a big thank you for supplying all the water on a hot evening to keep tired bodies well-hydrated.
The three dates for 2018-19 will soon be confirmed and we look forward to the RowLeeds Indoors now becoming the biggest school sport event in Leeds. Rethink Everything.
See the June Results and current RowLeeds records here: June Results
Register your interest in the 2018/19 season now: RowLeeds Indoor Champs
Read more about the RowLeeds Indoor Programme.