Indoor rowing continues to play key role at Greater Manchester SEND School Games

Students from school years 7 to 13 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) raced in individual and relay indoor rowing events on Wednesday, 17 April 2024.


For 12 years, indoor rowing has been a core aspect of the Greater Manchester special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) School Games.

Run by Greater Manchester Moving, with delivery support of British Rowing, SEND schools and colleges came from across Manchester to race at the competition.

Reflecting on the success of the event, Craig Vickers the Games Operational Lead from Greater Manchester Moving said, “It was fantastic to be able, for the first time, to have a two-day festival of indoor rowing in Greater Manchester. Our always successful SEND event kickstarted the carnival on Wednesday, 17 April, where close to 180 children participated in this amazing event.

“The buzz and excitement was electric as race after race produced thrilling rowing and finales, with pupils competing against each other with passion and fervour. This was followed up on the 18 April when we held our first GM event for pupils based in alternative provision or pupil referral units.

“Technology played an essential role, pitting rowers up against each other on a virtual screen, following races online which allowed teachers to follow on their phones and devices. It was a fantastic two days of rowing!”

In addition to the School Games event, a second day to support the delivery of activity to some of the Greater Manchester local schools and Pupil Referral Unit including Barton Moss  Secure Care Centre took place. There were a range of indoor rowing based skill games to challenge and develop basic rowing technique, along with live virtual racing to those competing  remotely.

Luke Lacey from Barton Moss Secure Care Centre said, “There was excitement prior to the day of the event but when the competition was looming reluctance set in as some of our young people are averse to change or anything from the norm.  However, we had 5 young lads step up to take part, most of whom arrived like John Terry to the Champions League final ready to rock.

“The lads took turns, and were eager to get on the indoor rowing machines and show what they could do. Even with setbacks like falling off the seats, they got  back on and recovered,  showing resilience rather than embarrassment.

It was a positive atmosphere throughout and the lads have fed back to non-participants, some of whom are gutted they didn’t take part.”

Find out more about the Greater Manchester SEND School Games here.


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