Meet Megan, RowLeeds Project Assistant

"The iRoW study assesses the impact of the RowLeeds rowing programme on young people’s wellbeing and development."

The iRoW study is offering students who wouldn’t normally get the chance to row to be involved in the RowLeeds programme while evaluating the impact of this rowing programme on physical fitness, mental wellbeing and academic attainment. Research in support of regular exercise, improving not just physical fitness but mental wellbeing and academic attainment, is limited. iRoW is looking to study these effects further with the aim of providing clinical evidence of these benefits.

You can read more about the iRow programme and RowUK Research aims here:

Megan is a full time research intern from the University of Leeds working on the iRoW study. We asked her to give us a little background on her role.

What is your role on iRoW?

My title is RowLeeds Project Assistant. This involves coordinating with the University, schools and researchers. I collect data from participants including questionnaires on mental toughness and psychological wellbeing as well as generic physical fitness data. Once data is collected it will be analysed and put into reports to summarise findings of the research so far.

Why did you apply for the role?

I study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Leeds and have a keen interest in how sport can benefit individuals both physically and mentally. I appreciate the importance of widening participation in both higher education and sports so if evidence shows they can be mutually beneficial, this can positively influence both industries.

What are you most looking forward to over the remaining months working on this project?

I am really looking forward to working directly with students who have recently started rowing or have just joined the research as participants and seeing how this research can benefit them in and out of school. Also collecting data that will hopefully be the start of ongoing research into this sector and provide useful information to facilitate student experience as well as mental and physical health.

What challenges are you facing?

A challenge as part of a large piece of research is that there are many procedures to follow to ensure the research is carried out safely, ethically and accurately. A benefit of many departments getting involved is that there is a lot of support. Everyone is invested in the research and its findings.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get involved in the programme?

iRoW involves many different aspects of research, so anyone with any experience can get involved. If you have an interest in sports (it doesn’t have to be rowing!), psychology, physiology, and increasing academic attainment then it would be a great study to be a part of. You can get involved through school, University and the rowing club.

​Want to get involved in the iRoW programme in 2019? We'd love to hear from you at

Read more about the RowLeeds Indoor Programme.

#irow #research #welbeing

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