STAGING B-Row inspires the city of Birmingham - British Rowing

B-Row inspires the city of Birmingham

For a lot of residents in Birmingham the topic B-Row is becoming a regular conversations starter, especially by those involved in sporting participation in the city.


Since it was re-formed in December 2013, the local rowing group has made a major footprint inspiring people into sport in Birmingham. B-Row has worked with over 30 organisations since it restarted including working with new local schools, colleges, universities, local community groups and workplaces. The group has achieved some major successes including delivering rowing to over 2000 people. It has created eight new satellite clubs in the West Midlands and has even established its own B-Row schools regatta. It is also planning a Midlands indoor rowing competition for next April 2016.

The hard work and dedication of the volunteer group and Head Coach Hannah Read has not gone unnoticed. On Thursday 17th of November, the group won the ‘Community Sports Award 2015’ at the Birmingham Sports Award. B-Row was recognised for its outstanding contribution in bringing communities together and inspiring the whole of Birmingham. This award was designed to celebrate a substantial contribution to the community, highlighting an individual or group who has added to Birmingham’s community through sport. This was a fantastic achievement for a group who is less than two years old.


Thanks to Sporting Champions (Sport England’s national athlete role model programme to raise aspirations with youngsters) and links with Community sports partnership Sport Birmingham, the group has also recently had a visit by triple world champion and Olympic gold and silver medallist rower Zac Purchase. Zac visited one of B-Row’s newest set-up satellite clubs at Colmers School. Over 20 youngsters had chance to have one on one coached sessions with Zac including wearing both his Olympic medals and listening to inspiring talks about how they could go further in the sport. He even created a new game where it was discovered that you can have two people rowing at the same time on the rowing machine. Having the successful Olympian in the room certainly engaged and enthused many of the youngsters to really take part and want to continue in the sport in the city.

Hannah Read (B-Row Head Coach) shared that “It has been great to have an inspirational Olympian in Birmingham. Zac has been able to help the participants really know where they can go in the sport and has proved that starting indoor within a satellite club is one step in the right direction. It has really helped inspire more young people to take part”.

“It has really helped inspire more young people to take part.”

“B-Row continues to make an outstanding contribution with rowing in the city of Birmingham.” said Chris Farrell, British Rowing Strategic Officer. “I am very pleased that it is being recognised for all the achievements it has been delivering. My thanks goes to Hannah Read, the B-Row committee members, Birmingham Rowing Club, Sport Birmingham, University of Birmingham, Bishop Vesey Grammar School, the local Watersports centres and our other rowing schools, colleges, staff and partners in the city. Without their support, this would not be possible.”