Integrated, independent agency CreativeRace has partnered with London Youth Rowing’s (LYR) three-time Olympic Rowing Gold Medallist Andrew Triggs Hodge OBE, in a fundraising initiative for LYR – a youth charity that uses rowing as a tool to motivate and empower young people from disadvantaged communities around the UK.
The original Centurion Challenge, which took place earlier this year, was inspired by ultra-marathon rower Lucy Radley from Teesside, who lives with Multiple Sclerosis, and rowed for 12 hours continuously, covering 100km. Rowing clubs from across the country now nominate rowers of all ages to row 100km in 24 hours, raising thousands of pounds for local outreach programs and the development of rowing in their regions.
Following a conversation with CreativeRace CEO Rob Shaw, LYR Director Triggs Hodge saw an opportunity to help the charity expand the event into corporate spaces, supporting healthy team-building activities for businesses while raising awareness and important funds for charity.
On 18th November, following a visit and training guidance from LYR’s rowing coaches, CreativeRace’s 20-strong corporate team completed the event by rowing 5km each as a relay in its Leeds offices, in a time of 7 hours 56 minutes 30 seconds.
Plans are already underway to expand the initiative across the region and beyond, supported by the introduction of a full-time LYR coach to be based in Leeds, as part of LYR’s Active Row programme.
Rob Shaw, CreativeRace CEO commented: “It’s been an honour to help bring an energetic, fundraising activity into the corporate space, and to be part of the first team to complete the inaugural Centurion Corporate Challenge in the country. Since returning to the office more frequently, we’ve been keen to get the team involved in a range of events and activities – being able to combine an active, sporting challenge alongside fundraising for a brilliant cause has really geared up the team to set our sights on the next challenge. We’re looking forward to supporting the initiative when it expands across our region and beyond, and look forward to some friendly competition in trying to beat our time! I’d encourage any organisation that wants a fun and collaborative challenge to get in touch with the LYR team.”
A driving force for the charity and the introduction of the Centurion Corporate Challenge is Director of Corporate Engagement for LYR, and three-time Olympic Gold Medallist Andrew Triggs-Hodge OBE.
Triggs Hodge added: “I love being part of great projects and team efforts, it always produces things you’ll never foresee and make good ideas great. Working with Rob and CreativeRace has been just that. Their ideas and energy has taken something inspiring and taken it to a new level. Their support has and will make a huge difference to the communities we serve, helping a specifically disconnected ground of young people from disadvantaged background to get motivated and find their pathway to fulfilling their potential. We see them take such amazing journeys, and it’s all because of team work, just like the creation of the Centurion Corporate Challenge. Thanks CreativeRace!”
About the Centurion Challenge
The Centurion Challenge was created to use rowing and the rowing community to raise funds to support young people around the UK from disadvantaged communities and give them the life chances they don’t have access to.
So far LYR has supported 11 rowing organisations with its first Centurion Challenge raising over £25,000 to help those organisations reach out to their communities and make a difference.
Rowing’s strength is in the life skills it develops in the people that participate and enjoy the sport. This doesn’t need to be limited to those in the right school, area, or socio-economic band.
Help us change young people’s lives and enter your team for the Centurion Corporate Challenge. Complete 100km in 24 hours in one team effort and support your local outreach programs for disadvantaged communities through rowing.
More information about the challenge and LYR can be found via the links below:
About London Youth Rowing
London Youth Rowing was founded in 2004 in response to the rowing community becoming an increasingly niche and elitist sport. Founder, Jim Downing, knew that rowing had the power to change young people’s lives and wanted those in more disadvantaged communities to have access to these opportunities.
In 2019-20, LYR introduced over 5,000 young people between 11-18yrs to rowing. 69% of the participants were from ethnic minority backgrounds, 49% were female and 8% were SEND participants. The charity’s focus on diversity and inclusivity remains at the heart of its programmes, whilst recognising the need to support young people’s mental and physical wellbeing has never been more important.
LYR worked hard to continue to support participants during the Covid-19 crisis, providing live online sessions, online competitions and regular training materials throughout.
The indoor and on-water rowing programmes include:
- Active Row, targeting inactive youth
- Breaking Barriers, teaching crucial life skills and pathing the way for future employment
- Alternative Provisions, taking rowing to youth who have been expelled from mainstream education
- Competition, giving athletes the opportunity to further their rowing aspirations