A new World Rowing indoor event has been scheduled ©World Rowing

An inaugural World Rowing Indoor Championships is due to take place in Alexandria in Virginia on February 17 and 18, next year it has been announced.

The inaugural competition will be staged at T.C. Williams High School in the American city close to Washington D.C. alongside the annual Erg Sprints event taking place there.

Indoor rowing consists of athletes competing on machines used to simulate the action of watercraft rowing.

It has traditionally been considered a training tool for rowers, but an indoor competition was held in its own right at last year's World Games in Wrocław.

A World Rowing statement claimed that the latest event is building on the success of the World Games and taking place in "recognition of the tremendous growth and development of indoor rowing as a full discipline within the sport of rowing".

It is hoped that the indoor rowing event will feature over 2,500 competitors ©World Rowing
It is hoped that the indoor rowing event will feature over 2,500 competitors ©World Rowing

"This partnership is designed to put indoor rowing exactly where it should be on the international sports map," International Rowing Federation President Jean-Christophe Rolland said. 

"Participation in indoor rowing at an elite and competitive level has been skyrocketing in recent years and it is time to give the sport an official championship status.

"Indoor rowing continues to break new ground in innovation and World Rowing is very pleased to be joining forces."

It is hoped that over 2,500 competitors will feature in Alexandria in an event co-organised by World Rowing, USRowing and equipment manufacturer, Concept2.

"We at Concept2 are excited to support a new championship format, moving the event to different locations and showcasing a truly international sport," added the company's co-founder Peter Dreissigacker.

"With World Rowing on board we hope to have the participation of the best athletes from all corners of the globe."