For the third year running, Oarsome Chance sent a team to compete in the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships (NJIRC) in London and they did us proud again – not just by taking part in a national competition, but by representing OC so brilliantly with their great behaviour, enthusiasm, cooperation and team work. Just stepping up and taking part in a serious competition in a national arena takes a lot of courage, but despite some nerves and some very serious looking competitors in other teams (!) the OC team stepped up to the plate and gave their absolute best.
We’d like to send big thanks to Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust for their support – HRRCT provide funding to OC to help us deliver rowing activities and they also generously subsidised our trip to NJIRC.
We’ve been training for NJIRC for months now, in our rowing club and during our curricular sessions so the team were well prepared to take on their individual events. As in previous years, the team of OC staff and competitors travelled up to London in minibuses the night before and stayed over with our friends the AHOY centre in Greenwich. The whole team were up at sunrise (with some even heading out for an early morning run) before driving across London to the Olympic Park in Stratford and the Copper Box Arena for the event itself.
First up were Owen, Year 12 and Luke, Year 13 (in his third, and last ever NJIRC). Both were taking on the 2000m long distance challenge with Owen putting in a personal best. Our Year 7 group, Ruby, Jae, Lily and Phoebe, were so busy cheering on Luke and Owen they missed the start of their own race. But they still got to take part in their own separate 2 minute time trial (in the ‘Bull Ring’ area) with all of them producing personal bests and Phoebe putting in a distance of 498m, which put her in joint third!
Next up were Jerome and Kyle in the Year 9 competition, taking on a 4 minute time trial. Again, both of them took on the nerve wracking challenge with guts and determination - Kyle putting in a personal best distance and Jerome just 4m short of his.
There was a two hour wait for the final event – the Year 7 2000m relay – time taken up with consuming of lunches, watching the other competitions and taking in the atmosphere. When the time came up for the Year 7 team to take on the relay, they went at the task with well-practised technique and steely determination and put in a team best time.
With all the events completed, by far the most impressive performance of all was the amazing team spirit displayed by every one of the young people involved. The comradery was brilliant with everyone cheering on fellow team members and all of them represented OC brilliantly (even when they had to pose for photos by the official HRRCT photographer!)
Many thanks to the OC staff who accompanied the team to London and as always gave the young people the encouragement and support they needed. The young competitors are already discussing how they’re going to take on NJIRC in 2021 – bring it on!
Check out the video highlights here: https://youtu.be/D5MFQa45lLk