Sixteen teams from across the Tideway project took part in this year’s Oarsome Challenge – raising more than £34,000 for London Youth Rowing and Tideway’s three main charity partners.
Now in its third year, the Challenge sees teams of eight rowers donning fancy dress and rowing a 13-mile stretch of the River Thames. This year, the route was slightly different – going from Shadwell in the East, to Putney Bridge in the West, before a final sprint following the Boat Race course to the finish line at Chiswick Bridge.
Commenting, participant Louise Walsh said: "The challenge was fantastic – lots of aching body parts now, but all well worth it! Taking part in the Oarsome Challenge enabled us to enjoy a truly unforgettable experience which we all loved. My fellow Drunken Octopuses were completely outstanding in every single way, and winning the Best Costume, Best Mixed Team and Most Fundraised categories was simply the icing on the cake to an amazing day."
Part of the money raised by the Oarsome Challenge will be used to purchase a new fixed seat rowing boat which will be operated by London Youth Rowing and other charities and used to encourage disadvantaged communities in the Fulham and Wandsworth areas to take up rowing. The rest of the money raised will go towards our three corporate charities - South London Cares, Single Homeless Project and Drive Forward Foundation.
Matt Rostron, CEO of London Youth Rowing said of the rowers: “You were just amazing. The level of enthusiasm, excitement, flexibility, desire to just get stuck in, love of fancy dress, your unending sense of humour and your ‘let’s do this thing’ attitude was a joy to be part of – thank you for getting involved and for doing what you did.
“You should all be very proud of what you did and the stat of the night for me was that the Oarsome Challenge series has raised over £100,000 for river charities like ours – that is unbelievable, thank you.”