Mossbourne Rowing Programme celebrates historic week as teams claim national title and podium positions at two national events

Mossbourne Take 1st and 3rd place in National Schools’ Head of the River Race 

Students make history as Mossbourne Rowing Programme celebrates inaugural boat naming ceremony 

Our Federation is celebrating after a historic week in our Rowing Programme’s history. On Monday 14 March, the Mossbourne rowing programme unveiled our first ever sole-use boat named ‘No Excuses’ after one of Mossbourne Federation’s three core values: Excellence, Unity and No Excuses. The newly-christened boat was used throughout the week in two major national competitions, the Schools’ Head of the River Race and the National Sculling Head, and carried Mossbourne students to a national title and several podium finishes.

At the Schools’ Head of the River race on Monday 14th March, two teams of Mossbourne rowers made it to the podium, with the J15 Boys team winning 1st place and the J15 Girls team taking 3rd place in the national competition. On Wednesday 16th March, another wave of Mossbourne rowers performed exceptionally well at the National Sculling Head, with the Year 9 boys’ crew winning a bronze medal, and the Year 10 girls’ crew taking 4th, missing out on the podium by just 2 seconds.

Our rowing programme has, until recently, been sharing equipment with London Youth Rowing’s learn-to-row programmes, and this week marked the first time in our programme’s history that Mossbourne has sole use of a boat. The Schools’ Head of the River Race was also the first time in the programme’s history that a team has won a national title – a truly awe-inspiring achievement as students take on some of the top independent schools in the country. Throughout the week, Mossbourne rowers beat out crews from Radley College, Westminster School, St Paul’s, Lady Elleanor Hollis and Surbiton High School.

In the same week that our programme saw unprecedented success, a former Mossbournian rower, Zuhri James was chosen for the Cambridge Men’s Lightweight rowing team after a year of intense training. Zuhri’s crew went head to head with rival team Oxford on the 20th March and won – an inspiring and proud achievement for our rowing programme and our rowers.


Tom Wilkinson, Head Coach of the Mossbourne Rowing Programme, said: 

“It was a privilege to unveil our new Mossbourne boat at the Schools’ Head of the River Race, and to tack on 1st and 3rd place finishes throughout the day was truly incredible. Our bronze and fourth place finishes at the Sculling Head were the icing on the cake of an amazing week. I am so proud of each and every one of our rowers and would like to thank once again our Mossbourne rowing community – from students and coaches to parents – for all of their support.

“Our mission is to bring the sport of rowing to students who might otherwise never have the chance to experience it. Our success at the Head of the River, and watching alumni like Zuhri excel at the university level, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the potential that we have among our Mossbourne team. To work alongside these student-athletes is a joy and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”


Rebecca Warren, Principal of Mossbourne Community Academy, said: 

“I am both speechless and humbled by the achievements of the pupils and staff at the National Schools Rowing Event and National Sculling Head this week. Their tireless commitment to always giving their best to be the best has been rewarded and recognised at a national level – this is another example of the impressive talent of Hackney children and, most specifically, the excellence of Mossbournians. Congratulations to all rowers – you make the Federation extremely proud.”