This two-week block has been notable for the continued emergence of the wonderful Warrington Youth Rowing kit. I know some schools are still getting orders together but I would think that by next term all our rowers should be sorted with their new kit. Some of the session coaches have also purchased the kit, we will stand out in a crowd!
It was very nice to see that Mike Cooper of Warrington Wolves and Bubble Clothing took time out to come and visit one of our sessions. He popped in last week and spent time with the rowers from UAW. Mike jumped at the chance to jump in a launch with me and see what this rowing lark is all about. He was genuinely impressed and I hope he will pop down again to catch up with some other schools. One of our ambassadors Lucy Glover also visited last week, she was on her way home from GB Trials. Once again she performed well at trials and it is a credit to her that she can take time out of her very busy schedule to visit us. She did a question and answer session with the pupils from Penketh, I wonder if they will remember in a few years that they were talking to a Rowing World Champion?
This time last week I was meeting with Ben Dunne and Matt Rostron. Matt is the CEO of London Youth Rowing, a much bigger organisation than WYR. We work very closely with them and they are really like our big brother. We have similar aims and goals but we go about our business in slightly different ways, both of us with our own personality and strengths. Matt was in Warrington to be our guest of honour at the Annual Warrington Youth Rowing Dinner. He delivered a very gutsy and emotional talk about the work of LYR and his observations of WYR. This was a fabulous evening and a great success. We raised enough money to cornerstone our trip down to London to take some of our year 8 athletes to The National Junior Champs at The Copper Box. It would be nice to get some of you to this function next year? !
Before we go to London though there is the small matter of our own Indoor Event to be held at The Haliwell Jones Stadium on Wednesday 30th January. We are still working on the final details and we hope to give you more information very soon. We will be inviting schools from outside of Warrington to try and make it a true North West Event. As I mentioned above we would like to take our best Year 8s to London and this event will be the selection event for that trip. The pupils selected for the London Trip will only be selected from the 8 schools in our project. As well as rowing races there will be other things for the youngsters to do. We have positive interest from Birchwood College, Priestley College, Warrington/Vale Royal College, Warrington Youth Club, Warrington Wolves Foundation. The Army, Navy and RAF. There are more but you get the idea!
Another thing that came out of our meeting with Matt Rostron was the importance of feedback from the schools. As we move forward we are going to have to start pitching for funding to carry on with this great project. We need information and details of improvements that you may have noticed in the pupils. We have had some feedback, especially from UAW and that has been very valuable. This is more Ben’s area than mine and I am sure he will be chasing you!
I have been watching our school leads closely this term and it is truly wonderful to see them getting to grips with the coaching. There are three PE Teachers, all non rowers but it is obvious that they can describe movement and how to apply it, hate to admit it but I have learnt a bit from them as well! There are three/four Pastoral Leads and again it’s obvious that they are comfortable with the pupils and they have been working well with them. Then there is Birchwood, a bit different but hell that works as well!
As we are approaching the cold season I would just like to clarify my decision making process regarding rowing outside or a gym sessions. I use The Met Office App with Howley set as the location. If the forecast temperature is below 5 or indeed the wind chill is below 5, we will be in the gym. We will also adhere to any other weather warnings on the app.
We are rapidly approaching December and I know that the last two weeks of term can be cocktail of different activities. If you know that you re going to have to miss a session please give us plenty of notice. Thanks in advance.
Schools of The Week
Week 8 Bridgwater mainly for the girls getting further than any other crew.
Week 9 Cardinal Newman Strong session in the gym
PS still plenty of room for a Heads visit!