London Youth Rowing (LYR) (UKD-40)

Type: Sport/Culture: Outdoor activities - Country: United Kingdom

Brief description and main aims

Established in 2004, LYR has grown into an organisation that stretches across eighteen boroughs. In our mission to introduce rowing to those young people that wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to do so, we now deliver to around 8,000 young Londoners every year. We are active in over 90 secondary schools and eleven on water centres and clubs.

Main Activities

LYR’s flagship programme, Satellite Hibs and Clubs is a project for young people aged 11-18 in the ten Olympic and Gateway boroughs. It involves installing indoor rowing machines into schools and supporting this with our team of community coaches. We then encourage our young people along the varied pathways to on water rowing. Some 2,100 participants take part in on-water rowing each year with the most enthusiastic being coached by one of the full time professional coaches that we have installed in local clubs. With hard work and determination, many will become part of our performance programme including the ‘first of a kind’ Rowing Academy at Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney where they will compete for a place in one of our lead crews. In  recent years our Juniors have been national champions twice and have represented England at the Home Countries Regatta.

In recent years, LYR have started several new programmes. ‘Mobile Learn 2 Row’ brings boats and coaches to corners of London that have hitherto not had access to on water facilities. ‘Go Row Hounslow’, running out of the UL boathouse extends our reach across west London. ‘Race Nights’ is the indoor version of Mobile Learn 2 Row, taking the sport to youth clubs and communities that have always been the hardest to reach. LYR is dedicated to finding new ways to improve our offer to the young people of London.

Volunteer tasks

LYR has a large range of programmes. From on-water rowing coaching, indoor rowing coaching to strength and conditioning training.

This placement will be largely based at Thames Rowing Club in Putney where the volunteer will be working with LYR’s Junior Coach. The squad has over 50 junior athletes of varying abilities – some at a high level. At first, the volunteer will spend most of the time shadowing the coach and learning about rowing and the more technical aspects of the sport. Over time the volunteer will be asked
to contribute to some elements of the various sessions. If the volunteer has some previous coaching experience, then this process will only be accelerated.

Elsewhere, LYR also runs events and it may be that the volunteer will be asked to work on these events. These events are straightforward to run and it will allow the volunteer to see other elements of LYR’s work in schools and in local communities.

Volunteer requirements / Skills

Someone with a passion for sport and a background in coaching and working with young people. A rowing or watersports background is helpful but not essential. The volunteer must be happy to work outside, sometimes in cold weather with some early starts and weekend work.

It is important to enjoy working with young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. We need someone who is hardworking, reliable, enthusiastic, easy-going, solution-orientated and keen to learn skills.

Volunteers should have a good to fluent level of English. This project Is particularly suited to volunteers who have competed at a high level within a sporting field and have experience of teaching or coaching others.


The project will be based at Thames Rowing Club on the Putney Embankment but will require the volunteer to be available to coach at any of LYR’s nine centres and clubs across London.

The volunteer will have access to London and all of the well-documented opportunities that brings. Balham is a very pleasant part of London and, as Maryanne has pointed out above, is close to the rowing club.

LYR would encourage the volunteer to learn to row and we will make sure that the volunteer gets plenty of coaching. This will only make the volunteer a better coach which will of course be useful to LYR.

Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)

Volunteers are hosted by a host family, based in south London.
Food will be provided by the host family.

More Information

The volunteer will be given a full safety induction, coaching education and an opportunity to learn to row. They will be trained to drive a safety launch. They will be required to complete a DBS check and enrol on a safeguarding course.

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