Rowing is great for lots of things: ambition, academic attainment, confidence building, mental and physical wellbeing, teamwork... Rowing is good at developing all of them.
So when we reach out to new communities, we don't just bring them the sport: we bring them a tool to improve life. Taking it to places where it would not be an obvious choice of sport, and incentivising existing clubs to deliver it, is game-changing for people.
Replicating existing best practice, learning from established models, and innovating where sensible, we want to broaden the reach of rowing both on the water and off it.
Working with every charitable trust with an interest in helping - including our own charitable trust, Love Rowing - using the power of our community for support, and taking the blueprint of fantastic existing outreach schemes such as Warrington Youth Rowing, London Youth Rowing and Fulham Reach Boat Club, we plan to move region by region across the country with programmes that work for the given local community.
Off the water, we will use tools to connect our squad and our alumni with secondary schools that have rowing machines (which we will seek to increase in number, to inspire people to try the sport), and facilitate engagement and competition through technology.
On the water, there are 158 rowing clubs in England that have ten secondary schools within easy reach. Through those clubs alone, we could bring rowing to 16,000 pupils who currently have no access to it. We want to get programmes running in every area, facilitating any club that is interested in running one. This is a key opportunity to develop the sport.
The physical and mental health benefits of rowing are enormous, and the sport is particularly brilliant for people who may have spent their formative years thinking of themselves as 'unsporty' because they aren't good with a ball. Bringing rowing to more people and giving them the chance to get involved is a huge benefit to them, at the same time as it broadens and diversifies our community. In short: we all love rowing, and we want to spread the rowing love.