Devon Adaptive Rowing Project Continues to Grow

The Devon Adaptive Rowing Project has
recently completed its second term and is continuing to grow, with increasing
numbers of young people taking part. The project has been funded by four
of the School Sports Partnerships (SSPs) in Devon along with British Rowing,
Sport England, the West Regional Rowing Council, Active Devon and the English
Federation of Disability Sport. It aims to build upon the existing adaptive
rowing opportunities and to provide adaptive rowing opportunities where none
currently exist in Devon.

The project is being led by
British Rowing Community Sports Coach Paul Johnson who is working with the
schools of the funding SSPs to deliver indoor rowing to pupils with special educational needs. So far the feedback from the SSPs and schools involved has
been extremely positive.

Katy Wedgwood, the special schools PE
Coordinator for the Sir John Hunt SSP in Plymouth says: “Paul has
made a huge impact on the children that he works with and has built very good
relationships with both children and staff. I have had contact with
many coaches over the years and he is one of the best I have had the
pleasure of working with. He delivers sessions appropriately and with
enthusiasm, supports children with all needs and has a willingness to
participate in anything that is asked of him above and beyond the ‘rowing’ call
of duty!! (including the Woodlands School Christmas play)!!”

As the Devon Adaptive Rowing Project
moves forward, the next steps will be to educate school staff to use
the indoor rowing machines safely and effectively, allowing the indoor rowing
programme to become self sustaining.  This will mean more
time can be devoted to developing an adaptive competition framework
and on-water opportunities in the spring and summer terms.

Report from Tom Pattichis

British Rowing West
Region Team Leader