Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC) Women’s President Bronya Sykes offered inspiration and insights into one of rowing’s toughest training programmes to local students from North Cambridge Academy on Monday at their session for the new East Anglia Youth Rowing (EAYR) organisation.

The new charity supported by British Rowing and CUBC, aims to provide greater access to the sport of rowing for all 11-18 year olds across the East Anglia region. Sykes took time out from a busy schedule of academics and rowing ahead of the Boat Race on 3 April to help students learning to row, with answers to their questions on the sport and offer a few tips on the indoor rowing machine.  

The EAYR scheme is modelled on the successful London Youth Rowing programme which focuses on young people less likely to engage in physical activity and those with special educational needs or physical disability in some of the most disadvantaged areas. 

The East Anglia Youth Rowing programme, which will also include introduction to life skills and apprenticeship programmes running in Cambridge, is being organised by City of Cambridge Rowing Club President Tony Nelder in conjunction with town rowing clubs across the region.

Nelder, who fell in love with rowing as a young student at Netherhall School, another local Cambridge school, and has spent a lifetime in the sport since, is passionate about rowing’s transformational power.

Tony Nelder said: “Cambridgeshire has some of the greatest wealth disparity in the UK, so it seems pretty obvious to me that we can and should provide our young people with access to a sporting programme that can change your life.”

Bronya Sykes said: “It’s great to be able to get out and talk with students from schools just a stone’s throw from the boathouse where Cambridge train and see their enthusiasm for a sport where the clubs are looking to provide access to young people across all of Cambridge’s communities.”

City of Cambridge Rowing Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Partridge to the position of Head Coach. Mike has spent decades at the top of international club and school rowing, turning out world championship and Henley crews as well as coaching British and Australian athletes to perform their best at some of rowing’s most competitive events.

As 1st VIII coach at Emanuel and Shrewsbury Schools, Mike helped develop over 30 youngsters to go on to represent Great Britain, with many going on to senior rowing achievements with universities and clubs. He has coached at four junior world championships. In Australia, Mike continued this success at The Southport School (QLD) as well returning to Henley with a Queensland crew to win the Fawley Cup. Latterly, he has continued coaching for Queensland as well as working for Rowing Australia to develop and assess the coach accreditation courses in Australia.

Mike started his journey at Monmouth Rowing Club as a youngster before moving to London to study where he joined Thames Tradesmen’s Rowing Club, and then helped form the club London Welsh. As a teacher of English, he has taught at a number of UK and Australian rowing schools where he has been able to develop his passion for coaching.

Mike says of the prospect of joining City, “I am really excited at this opportunity to join a club that has genuine aspirations and a real sense of what positive club culture means. I look forward to joining and supporting a group of dedicated coaches in setting ambitious but achievable goals for all club members. Successful clubs are built on this collaborative spirit and my aim is to assist City with its coach and athlete development, from juniors, to seniors, to masters, in both the men’s and women’s squads.”

Mike takes up his position just prior to the men’s Head of the River in March.

City President Tony Nelder said: “We are ecstatic that Mike has chosen to bring his deep knowledge, brilliant coaching skills and infectious passion for rowing to City. Mike is the latest addition to a City transformation. We have a smashing new training facility, a new boathouse, an upgraded fleet of boats and an ever growing number of athletes keen to compete at every level.

Watch here as Will talks us through the squad’s progress, plus the new updates to the boathouse and fleet!

Huge congratulations to Julie Hogg from City, for winning the National Safety Award at the British Rowing Awards!”Our winner has not only helped improve safety for her club but also at the rowing clubs in her local area.”A big thanks to Julie and all those that helped with the coxing course over the summer.