Legacy in action at Dorney

The Olympic legacy was burning brightly as Eton Dorney played host to over 1500 schoolchildren earlier today. The Samsung World Rowing Cup venue was alive with cheers, screams and, of course, the ‘Dorney Roar’.

Many of the younger fans were there thanks to a legacy-inspired sponsorship scheme by the GB Rowing Team’s Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell. Forty-four companies and individuals had each paid £150 to fund a class of 30 children – resulting in over 50 schools having the chance to enjoy today’s top class rowing. 

Schoolchildren from different parts of the country including Evesham, Chester and London converged on the World Rowing Cup venue, parading plastic batons and Union Jacks to show their support.

Elizabeth Hall of nearby Langley Hall Primary Academy said, “We were given 30 children’s tickets and six adult tickets. So it’s been very exciting – everyone’s been thrilled.

“We got involved in this because Adam Freeman Pask and a few other GB rowers came to speak to the school.”

Pupils entered a competition to design a poster to promote sport in the school with the 30 best designs winning a ticket to the World Cup.

Elizabeth added, “A lot of children have said that they would like to take up rowing now that they’ve actually seen it in action and had a go on the rowing machines. So it’s opened their eyes to yet another sport.”

Teenagers from Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham were inspired to come to Dorney after a visit by former pupil Alex Gregory.

School director Linda Walker said, “They’ve had a fantastic time. Out of 45 teenagers here today, only about eight to nine have rowed. Most of the students here wouldn’t normally have a chance to go to anything like this. 

“They’ve seen Andy Triggs Hodge – he was very nice and had his photo taken with them, Sam Townsend and Helen Glover. They’ve just had a great time cheering on the athletes.”

Want to have a go at rowing? Find out how at www.britishrowing.org/taking-part.

Rowing is continuing to grown in the UK – get a closer look at our latest membership stats here: www.britishrowing.org/news/2013/june/20/british-rowing-membership-keeps-rising.

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