Dear Tees Regatta competitors and friends,

 

In December, we at Tees RC were delighted and proud to announce that our Junior Men's 2x of Callum Holdsworth and Mazyar Amini had won the British Rowing Junior Crew of the Year award. Theirs is an amazing story - if you don’t know it, please see below. We are also hugely proud of our para-rowing squad which produced Paralympic gold medallist Laurence Whiteley, and would like to extend that to involve Junior rowers with disabilities too.

 

We’re now looking at the future and are keen to give new rowers the chance to be part of our great sport through both of these projects.  For these we’re pleased to be working with London Youth Rowing’s online event Race the Thames (RTT) to help fund the development of rowing at Tees.

 

I’m sure you’ll all know the great work that LYR does for disadvantaged communities in London, Through their event and your racing we can support the Tees Rowers Building Bridges program.

 

 

Race the Thames will give most of the entry fees from crews who sign up to Team Tees Regatta to Tees Rowers Building Bridges, with the single focus being to get more kids like Callum and Mazi out on the water too.

 

So what is Race the Thames?

●     Race the Thames is a virtual event that will see hundreds of people come together to race or challenge themselves over one of two distances: The Tidal 72km, or the river 346km. The chosen distance can be covered over a week or a day between 22nd March to 29th March.

●     Either distance can be raced or simply completed. For those racing we'll try to stick to Concept II rowing machines, Covid dependent. However, many teams are also running or cycling to complete the distances

●     The race platform will bring racing teams together on Zoom, and will have a live leader board and live map of each crew’s position. This will bring together crews from all over the world in one epic race!

●     Buy-in price of £25 per person, junior teams go freeTees will receive £15 of each participant fee,then £10 will go to LYR to run the event, and put a small amount towards its own community programmes. We know this is expensive, but your enjoyment is funding important projects to make rowing matter for more people, so we hope you agree that it’s worth it!

●     We can have a bit of fun with this, so junior crews, parent crews and coach crews should definitely be challenging each other for once!

 

SO...Want to do some real, tangible good, break down barriers and, at the same time, get yourselves a competitive goal that definitely won't get cancelled? Follow the entry instructions detailed below, and get training!

 

The process part:

●            Let's get racing: This novel format will get your crews focused and excited to train again.  72km in one day is 9k per rower, on rowing machines, at your own locations (if Covid allows, if not RTT will include bikes and running to make it feasible, details TBD - whatever happens we will race!). And remember, it's the fastest collection of pieces through the day, not one single effort!

1.       Coaches / group leaders – Book your crews on This Link which buys your entry, now get them training for the end of March.

2.       Next we'll ask for more details on your team - this is where the team leader enters your crew as Team Tees Regatta!

3.       Then we'll send the crew leader a link that they send on to each rower to sign up themselves. (Rowing Clubs: this isn't a BROE event)

4.       Just before the event we'll send each participant their link to submit their session data for the event.

5.       Then keep track of your progress, and that of your opposition, on the LYR Arena - including the live leader board, and map, and broadcast of participants on our zoom channel.

●             Entries close 15th March.

 

The Tees Rowers Building Bridges Story so Far

 

Mazyar's story is similar to many kids now living on Teesside. He arrived in the UK in 2017 as an asylum seeker from Iran, his journey having been extremely difficult as he was separated from his mother. On arriving in Stockton, and after being reunited with her after four months separation, in his first week he sought out the opportunity to return to rowing, a sport he'd last enjoyed aged 14 in Iran.
As a result, members of the club paid for his membership, our Junior parents paid his competition entry fees, then we successfully applied for a grant from Tees Philanthropic Society which helped with other costs.

 

From the outset he and Callum – himself a multi-sensory learner -  really supported each other on the water, in the gym and with their academic studies. Each has had their own challenges to overcome, and competitive rowing has been instrumental in helping Mazyar to adjust to a new life in the UK. The confidence he has gained enabled him to complete his studies and take up a place at Sunderland University - no mean feat given his level of English when he arrived and the experiences he had endured. Callum’s involvement in rowing played a significant part in the development of his own confidence and communications skills. Callum is currently studying at the University of Lancaster.