Mossbourne Rowing Academy Success in Westminster School fixture

Year 9 Squad’s first ever competitive fixture ends in victory over private school opposition

This Sunday, Mossbourne Rowing Academy’s Year 9 squad came out victorious after a head-to-head with elite private school Westminster School in a fixture held on the river Thames.

Mossbourne’s crew was made up of 7 students from Mossbourne Community Academy and 7 students from Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy. Mossbourne won almost every race, edging out the competition in 2 out of 3 races in the coxed eights category and 3 out of 3 races in the coxed fours. The fixture was the first competitive fixture that these Mossbourne students have faced since they began training through the Mossbourne Rowing Academy in September 2021.

Rowing has become part of the fabric of life at the Mossbourne Federation, a non-selective group of state secondary schools in Hackney — one of London’s poorest boroughs, miles from the River Thames. In partnership with London Youth Rowing, Mossbourne Community Academy established a free rowing programme that gives all secondary school students, regardless of their background, access to the sport. Started in 2004 with just 15 students, by 2020 MCA’s rowing programme had grown to 193 participants, and has successfully attracted a diverse group of pupils to rowing, drawing from communities underrepresented in the sport.

The programme has been hugely successful and has seen students go on to become Team GB rowers, with one current student just qualifying for Team GB trials this February, as well as pursue university places at some of the best universities in the UK and USA. The aim of the Mossbourne Rowing team is to change the face of rowing in Britain by setting the standard for successful, competitive, diverse and inclusive rowing programmes.

Tom Wilkinson, Head Coach of Mossbourne Rowing Academy, said:

“We are so proud of our Year 9 squad for their fantastic performance at their first ever fixture this weekend. Each student athlete has been training extremely hard since September to prepare for competitions like this one, and I am delighted that their hard work has been rewarded.

“We are of course thrilled at these results, but at Mossbourne, the aim of our rowing programme is not solely winning races. This is a very happy side-effect of our steadfast focus on helping students become engaged with and enjoy a sport that may otherwise have been inaccessible to them, creating a more inclusive culture around rowing. Having said this, the three tenets of Mossbourne are Excellence, No Excuses, and Unity, and we live by these pillars wherever we are, whether inside the classroom or on the water.  We look forward to continuing to work with these budding athletes and to celebrating their future successes.”