A COVENTRY rower will be undertaking a Centurion Challenge to raise funds for Here For Sport – the foundation he helped set up.
Sam Winton will row 100km on September 12 as part of the London Youth Rowing (LYR) challenge which is being backed by three-times Olympic champion Andy Triggs Hodge.
The cash Sam collects will help Here For Sport run a programme with Coventry’s Whitley Academy, a school which caters for a large population of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“I founded Here For Sport to help as many people as possible.
“As a rower, it made sense for one of the first things for me to do was tackle the barrier around rowing, particularly in my home city of Coventry.
“Theres a reputation that rowing is a white middle class sport, we’re a city that is incredible diverse but has quite a high poverty rate, those are things I wanted to change through rowing.”
Growing up, Sam felt excluded from sport – partly due to a lack of talent, partly due to a lack of opportunity, but also a feeling of being different.
Sam, who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, was lucky enough to have people supporting and encouraging him in later life, enabling him to pursue rowing and discover his love of sport.
“Over the last few years I’ve got to work with some fantastic projects across the country and have seen how they’ve used rowing to tackle social issues.”
“At the same time as I’m rowing the 100km, we’ve got local school children coming to give rowing a go for the first time.
“We’re hoping that with the money we raise we’ll be able to buy running machines and out them in local schools, run a rowing programme in the city and slowly build from there.
“My big dream is to one day have a rowing club, to actually get on the water in Coventry.”
Sam has set himself a target of £5,000.
Click here to donate to his fund-raising page.