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Agecroft RC to host oar-some fun day and ‘Centurion Challenge’ to get kids from inner-city schools into rowing

Agecroft rowers paddling past MediaCityUK in Salford

Agecroft Rowing Club is hosting a ‘Centurion Challenge’ family day event to raise £30,000 to help get more local young people into the sport.

The Salford based sports club – which celebrates its 160th anniversary this year – will host an Agecroft family ‘Sunday Funday’ on September 12th to raise money to set up an inner-city rowing programme for children.

The BBQ fundraiser promises to have something for the whole family, including a bouncy castle and the opportunity for kids to take part in taster sessions in play boats.

And let’s not forget the ‘big kids’ – the adults can enjoy a bar hosted by Salford’s finest SEVEN BRO7HERS, who will be serving a limited edition ‘Agecroft IPA’ on tap and a personalised Agecroft Gin will also be available for purchase.

To mark the occasion, club member Robbie Macfarlane will take on the ultimate ‘row for change’; rowing 100km up and down the River Irwell. The Centurion Challenge will see Robbie row in various boat combinations, for the equivalent distance of Salford Cathedral to York Minister. Robbie will finish the last 2km of his challenge on a rowing machine surrounded by supporters.

Rowing the Centurion Challenge is no mean feat, a training Olympian would be unlikely to try this. Estimated to take between 10 and 12 hours to complete it won’t be a walk in the park. Robbie joins a fleet of people across the country completing the Centurion Challenge on Sept 12th to raise awareness of vital community projects, including #RowforChange, with Robbie representing Salford & Manchester.

School rowing is often associated with fee-paying private schools, with young people from non-elite schooling backgrounds not being introduced to the sport until they are adults at university, if at all. Keen to diversify the sport and get youngsters from schools across Salford and Manchester involved, Agecroft Rowing Club is trying to raise £30,000 to set up a youth programme and buy equipment.

Calling on businesses to sponsor the inner-city scheme and inviting local people down to the quayside event, Robbie Macfarlane from South Manchester, said:

“Aged 13 I was fortunate enough to be introduced to rowing through my local school, with a non-fee paying rowing club run by volunteer coaches, who gave up thousands of hours of time to give children of any background the opportunity to take up the sport. Rowing has since been a major part of my life and I am forever grateful for that opportunity.”

Robbie, 40, rowed through to university and today continues to actively compete with Agecroft RC Masters picking up silverware in the recent National Championships and Henley Masters Regattas.

He added: “It is so important we reshape our thinking around a sport like rowing and make it more accessible to young people across the region. Manchester and Salford are cities full of untapped talent and potential, we strongly believe sport should be for everyone and not defined by your schooling or social circumstance. We want to give kids the chance to get on the water and give rowing a try.”

The event will kick off at Watersports Centre, Salford Quays from 6:30am on Sunday 12th with the Centurion Challenge and run until around 4pm – to donate to #RowforChange head to to Robbie’s Just giving page.

Agecroft Rowing Club offers opportunities for rowing at all levels and ages, from complete beginners to aspiring international athletes. The club’s high-performance coaching has seen a number of rowers represent Team GB at various international events. Most recently, Graeme Thomas was selected to race in the Men’s Double Sculls at the Tokyo Olympics, narrowly missing a medal.

Businesses looking to discuss sponsorship for the inner-city programme or support the clubs #RowforChange campaign, should contact James Harris via the Agecroft website and social channels.