Students from across Wokingham state secondary schools are being invited to compete at a Leander Club ergo championships next month.
A total of 90 pupils from Year 9 and Year 10 (aged 13-15) are set to race at the event, which is due to be held at Waingels College in Woodley, on Thursday 8th December. For many juniors attending the day, this will be their first time on a rowing machine.
Leander Club’s High Performance Talent ID coach Jonathan Jackson has arranged the event as part of the club’s outreach programme which works to bring young people into the sport when they might not have otherwise had the chance.
Jonathan, who works with the junior and development squads at Leander, with the aim of getting athletes selected for the national team at both under junior and under 23 level. He also recruits promising athletes and with the goal of turning them into future world champions or even Olympians.
Jonathan said: “It’s brilliant to encourage these young people to give rowing a try. Rowing on an ergometer is no walk in the park, but the thrill of competing and winning a rowing race on land or water is addictive as we all know!”
Every student participating will receive a Leander Club t-shirt and awards will be presented by former Leander junior and Olympic silver medallist Harry Leask. Harry learned to row as a junior in Scotland and joined Leander Club in 2012, then progressed through Leander’s junior and senior squads. He went on to represent Great Britain at World U23 level three times and won the silver medal in the men’s quad sculls (M4x) at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Harry said: “I am looking forward to seeing so many juniors trying rowing for the first time. I’m hoping we’ll inspire the next generation to take to the water. We might even find a potential Olympian among them!”
Each school is putting forward two teams of five boys and five girls to compete in four separate races – three team events and one individual race to find the fastest boy and girl.