A group of talented young rowers will be representing Aberdeen at one of the world’s most prestigious rowing events, the Henley Royal Regatta, which takes place from 27 June to 2 July.
For the first time in its history, the Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association (ASRA) is sending two squads to compete at the world-renowned event, which is visited by more than 300,000 people each year.
Both the Junior Women's Eight Oars with Coxswain and the Men’s Four Oars with Coxswain will be pitted against some of the world’s best rowing squads. Henley Royal Regatta boasts over 300 races across six days of elite sporting competition and is regarded as the highlight of both the summer rowing calendar and of the social season in the UK.
ASRA train on the River Dee and has been supported in the build-up to the event by their main sponsor, Drum Property Group. Looking forward to the Regatta, coach Holly Reid said: “The club has never competed at the Henley Royal Regatta before, and we are all very excited at the prospect of both boats performing well amongst world-class opposition.
“We hope that by competing at an event which has such a global appeal will inspire many more youngsters in the Aberdeen area to come along and try the sport. With the generous and committed support of our sponsors, we are making rowing accessible to everyone. Achievements like this are key to capturing imaginations and expanding the appeal of rowing - not just at the club but across the Aberdeen area.”
As well as providing general support for the elite squads, Drum has been funding training programmes to introduce children aged 11 to 17 to the sport, and to benefit from professional coaching and experiencing competitive river racing.
Drum’s Operations Director, Fife Hyland, added: “Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association has done an excellent job in developing the sport of rowing across the North-east. Competing at such a prestigious event is a stunning achievement in itself and testament to all the hard work the ASRA team and the rowers themselves have put in over the season.
“As a major investor in the North-east, it is great for Drum to see the participation, dedication and enthusiasm of local schoolchildren result in such a talented squad of rowers competing at the top level of the sport. We wish both boats all the very best at Henley and know it will be a fantastic experience for them.”
Drum’s sponsorship of the ASRA has also included outreach work with local schools Cults Academy, Harlaw Academy, Aberdeen Grammar School and Lochside Academy to provide rowing taster sessions on the water for pupils.