The New Year has seen us working in the gym at Warrington Rowing Club for two reasons. Firstly it’s been very cold and secondly it has been an opportunity for the rowers to prepare for our Indoor Competition. Paul, the School Leads and myself have worked the children very hard. In every session they completed their test distance and also did a relay practice. We did intersperse the hard work with games such as Hangman, testing their knowledge of rowing terms and spelling of said terms! As we got closer to our competition the results got better and better, indeed in the last couple of weeks before the event it was almost the norm for new PB’s to be chalked up.


As for the competition it was a memorable day. The volunteers that helped out have all said how impressed they were with our/your youngsters. In fact I have not received a negative comment from them about the rowers, quite remarkable for 30 volunteers and nearly 200 pupils. A huge thanks to all the volunteers, especially Ralph Johnson (Birchwood), Nick Hubble (Peterborough Rowing Club) and Dan Heatherington from British Rowing.


On the day of the competition Mother Nature decided to intervene and remind us that she is still to be respected. It was probably the worst day of the winter so far for bad weather. Sadly this meant that we lost a couple of schools, with Culcheth being the biggest loss as well as the team from Woolston Brook. The army of volunteers started to arrive at 7am to setup the event, with 30 rowing machines being put together, wired up and then fenced off.  At 9.00am the volunteers raced to test the machines, race systems and computers.


The venue, The Halliwell Jones Stadium, is a great attraction in itself and I would be delighted to receive feedback from you as to the suitability of the stadium. There were lots of positives but negatives as well, temperature certainly being a problem. Please let us have your thoughts as we are already planning 2020 and we want to be bigger and better. We did try and put together other things for the children to do but again I am not sure how much use this was, comments please.


The results have been emailed to the schools and you will see there are some great results. This leads us to the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships (NJIRC) to be held at The Copper Box, Olympic Park, London.  One of the objects of our event was to select a Warrington team for NJIRC. We would like to invite the following athletes and a School Lead per school to join our team on Friday 15th March. (Leaving Bank Quay at 6.22am returning 8.34pm).


Alfie Fairhill and Charie Lears         Cardinal Newman

Evan Wray and Amy Groves            Birchwood

Tom Gilmore                                      S T Boteler

Ryan Edwards and Emily Sankey    Bridgewater

Amelia North and Poppy Wild         Penketh

Grace Bain                                          Padgate


This is not the final team but I am happy to get things moving for the above. I do hope they will all be able to join us, it is an amazing event. We will cover the cost of the train and connection in London, the competition entry fee, and a burger type meal at teatime on the way home. As per last year could we ask for a £50 (payable to Warrington Youth Rowing) contribution per athlete to help spread the cost of the event, train tickets alone will be £850!


There is another indoor rowing event on the horizon; it takes place on Tuesday 12 March at The Memorial Hall in Northwich. This event is part of The School Games and is being promoted in Warrington by Penny Moorfield, School Games Organiser. Penny was a great help with our event and she enabled us to hire a van to collect and return the rowing machines from Nottingham. Penny also provided the medals for our competition. It would be a nice way to pay her back if we could support this event.


Hopefully we have seen the worst of winter (fingers crossed it’s better than last year) and we can start getting back to the business of rowing on The Mersey. We are not far from half way through the school year and the next big competition is Tuesday 2nd July. Plenty of room in the coaching launches for School Heads to come and have a look at our work and how good your pupils are.


Kind regards

Richard and all at WYR