A group of young rowers from Aberdeen are making history by taking part in one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world.
The Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association is sending two squads to compete at the Henley Royal Regatta for the first time.
The talented youngsters hope to make waves against the world’s best at the famous event which attracts over 300,000 people every year.
Boys captain Murray Bone said: “Our crew are really quick. It’s exciting.
“We won the Scottish National School Championships against 4,000 rowers and that was the first time a Scottish team had ever won. It was so exciting to do that.
“We also got a clean sweep at the men’s sweep events at the Scottish championships.”
Girls captain Freya Hughson added: “It’s almost been years in the making.
“Over the last couple of years we were training really hard and this year training stepped up that bit more and the goal was to aim for that and achieve that. We will just see how we do, everyone is very excited.”
Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association has come a long way since it was established in 1960 and next week will be a proud moment in its history.
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.
“Historically Henley is an event where crews have a lot of money and resources, and ASRA is a club which has been created for anyone and everyone at junior level to try rowing in Aberdeen,” said coach Holly Reid.
“We are doing this because we want to show that rowing can be for everyone. It’s not an elitist sport and we want to push the boundaries from what other clubs would expect from a club like us.”
Fellow coach Alan Lawrie added: “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.”
ASRA train on the River Dee and has been supported in the build up to the event by their main sponsor, Drum Property Group.
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.”
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