Young Londoners to race in National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships

The National Junior Indoor Rowing Championship has grown in popularity in recent years

The National Junior Indoor Rowing Championship has grown in popularity in recent years - Credit: London Youth Rowing

In less than two weeks, thousands of young people from across London, the UK and the world will take part in the world’s biggest indoor rowing competition, the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships (NJIRC).

Over 2,000 entries have already been confirmed for the annual event, which will be held from February 28-March 4 virtually. The deadline for entries is 5pm on February 22.

This year’s event has already seen entries from a number of schools across London, including St Angelas Ursuline School and School 21 from Newham, Ursuline Ilford from Redbridge, New Regents College from Hackney and Alperton Community School from Brent.

NJIRC, regarded as one of the largest indoor rowing events on the calendar, is supported by the Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust and Sport England and remains one of the highlights of the rowing calendar.

NJIRC 2022 was planned as a hybrid event, combining an in-person event at the Copper Box Arena and a virtual event alongside.

However, as a result of the ongoing pandemic, event organisers London Youth Rowing (LYR) has decided that NJIRC will once again run as a fully virtual event this year. Last year’s event saw a record number of entries with nearly 4,000 young people taking part from across the world.

Youngsters will be battling it out for National Junior Indoor Rowing Championship glory in the coming weeks

Youngsters will be battling it out for National Junior Indoor Rowing Championship glory in the coming weeks - Credit: London Youth Rowing

The event is set to include individual and relay racing, with athletes will be able to submit their scores, accompanied by a picture of their screen, to an online platform.

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Results will be shown on a live leaderboard throughout the event, then collated to award medals to winners at a virtual awards ceremony. Participants can watch this ceremony live, remotely.

Three-time Olympic rowing champion and LYR Director Andy Triggs Hodge said: “I have always believed that working, like any sport, has the ability to transform the lives of young people.

"For a sport like rowing, at times, the access to the sport can be a real barrier. However, events like NJIRC removes those restrictions and makes rowing accessible to all, with tremendous support from LYR.”

London Youth Rowing is trying to help more youngsters gain access to the sport

London Youth Rowing is trying to help more youngsters gain access to the sport - Credit: London Youth Rowing

While LYR schools and rowing clubs have access to machines, LYR is catering for those who do not have access by arranging NJIRC Hubs across the country. Participants can book a slot for racing, which will be managed in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

In 2021, LYR announced significant expansion for the organisation, committing to growth of its core Active Row programme to Yorkshire and Kent. NJIRC this year will see a host of schools from the new programme areas, as well as Warrington, getting involved.

Matt Rostron, LYR CEO, added: “NJIRC is one of the highlights in the junior rowing calendar and we are all really excited about running the event for the 16th year, albeit again virtually, to build on our success from 2021’s inaugural virtual version.

“It is a real shame that this year we aren’t able to make a return to the Copper Box Arena for the showpiece event, but it is just not feasible for us to run the in-person event this year, following conversations with schools and key stakeholders.

"We do, however, have some fantastic ideas to help us still connect all of our partner schools and the rowing community in a truly global event again.”

Entries for this year’s event are open until 5pm on February 22. See https://lyr-online-league.webflow.io/njirc2022.