altMarch 17 - The London Youth Rowing today Row East London!, a new initiative of physical activity and sport for youngesters in the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics.

Organisers hope that the scheme will become one of the major programmes to maximise the potential of the Olympic legacy.


The programme aims to encourage London youngsters aged 11 to 18 to get involved in physical activity and sport through a programme of indoor rowing.


Tom Aggar, the Beijing Olympic gold medallist, whose club Royal Docks is located in one of the London Host Boroughs, was joined at today's launch by fellow champions Peter Reed and Tom James and silver medallists Katherine Grainger and Frances Houghton.


Kate Hoey, the former Sports Minister and now a special advisor to London Mayor Boris Johnson, was also there.


Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012, sent a special message.


He said: "I am delighted to hear about this new initiative and it is fantastic that so many schools have taken this on board throughout 10 Host and gateway Boroughs.


"With this in the build-up to London 2012, it can only help to achieve our objectives of inspiring more young people to take up sport and improve sporting access across the country.


"Not only will this inspire more young people to choose sport but it will leave a lasting legacy of the London 2012 Games."


London Youth Rowing will establlish indoor rowing clubs in 50 per cent of schools as well as some youth and community clubs across the capital and will provide training and support for the coaches and volunteers involved in the programme.


The scheme will run free for the first year, with a modest charge in subsequent years so that the project becomes self-sustaining within the Boroughs.