Following our work to get all of the schools in Hammersmith & Fulham onto the water, we have launched a partnership project with The Boat Race Company, BNY Mellon and Newton Investment Management to get all 52 schools that border the Boat Race Championship course into rowing, we're calling it Future Blues.
The Boat Race Championship Course passes through four London boroughs where there are 52 state-secondary schools, educating some 50,000 students annually. Very few of these schools have previously been involved in rowing and it is yet to be shown if a pupil from any of these 52 schools has gone onto compete in The Boat Race.
Future Blues will raise the aspirations of a generation of children and use rowing as a vehicle that can demonstrate the ability to achieve in life. It will help educate the young people on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and show that their fitness will improve as result of being involved in rowing. The project will have a measurable impact with repeatable results. Perhaps most importantly it will change the face of rowing with the ambition to increase the total number of school rowing clubs in the UK by 50%. In 2018 the Future Blues objectives are:
- To ensure that every one of the 12 state schools within Hammersmith & Fulham will take part in rowing on The Championship Course. This will be the first time in the UK that a local authority has had every state school take part in rowing.
- To create a Future Blues Regatta hosted by Fulham Reach Boat Club. Open to entries from all of the 52 schools that border the Boat Race course.
- To establish a Future Blues Online Rowing League. Open to all 52 Future Blues schools through a fully accessible platform which is suitable for all abilities. Fulham Reach Boat Club will actively provide support to schools who do not currently have access to rowing machines.
- To provide an inspirational visit from The Boat Race crews to meet with Future Blues schools. This will take place during the week preceding The Boat Race.
- The Boat Race Future Blues Thames 100. A relay row from Oxford to London with teams of students from our partner schools completing 20-mile legs. As well as the rowing the students get the chance to stop off at points of interest along the way. The row begins with a tour for the state school students around one of the Oxford Colleges to emphasise that Oxbridge is a real possibility for anybody.
We believe Future Blues will creating a lasting legacy at the grass roots of the sport and we are extremely grateful to The Boat Race Company, BNY Mellon and Newton Investment Management for their ongoing support.