Dorney Lake Schools Rowing Programme - Schools Together
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Dorney Lake Schools Rowing Programme

We provide local schools with the opportunity to learn to row at Dorney Lake, which was used as part of the London 2012 Olympics.


The aim of the schools rowing programme is to provide young people with the opportunity to learn to row. It also aims to develop young people using rowing as a vehicle to empower them to achieve their personal goals and targets. The programme fundamentally looks for rowing to enhance each individual and consider the whole child’s welfare and development.


The schools rowing programme was originally started when the lake was still being dug out and sessions used to take place in just 1000m. The programme was known as the Junior Aquatics Initiative to encompass not only rowing but also canoeing and bellboating. Over twenty years numerous different schools have booked in for sessions. Many of them coming back year after year.

Dorney Boat Club was established to allow young people the opportunity to row without hefty membership fees or being overly competitive. Membership is made up of pupils who want to row in addition to their school session and for young people in the local area. The club’s philosophy of recreational fun rowing is one of the key strengths of the programme.


Dorney Boat Club has an array of boats and equipment to ensure all needs are catered for. This may be groups attending to complete a practical GCSE or Dorney Boat Club members who are looking at attend their first competition.


Over the years the club has seen juniors continue in the sport and go on to race nationally for their new clubs or universities. Feedback from parents and teachers has seen student behaviour improve as well as improvements in confidence for young people.

Pupil Involvement

In the height of the summer term the schools rowing programme has over 250 pupils a week visiting the lake and getting out on the water every day. Dorney Boat Club is overseen by the Rowing Manager but the club captain and vice-captain are all junior members. We try to encourage members to be ambassadors for the sport in their own schools and can go into schools to run indoors rowing sessions or competitions.

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