Princess Anne crowns Beckton students London rowing champions

Mr Cherrett and Captain Julius Casela about to receive the trophy from HRH Princess Anne.

Mr Cherrett and Captain Julius Casela about to receive the trophy from HRH Princess Anne. - Credit: Archant

Sporty students from Kingsford Community School were crowned London champions of indoor rowing by the Princess Royal.

The Year Seven and Eight boys and girls’ teams from the school in Kingsford Way, Beckton, beat 16 other schools from across four London boroughs in the 299th Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race.

The annual race historically pits apprentices working on the River Thames against each other but advances in technology mean the competition can now be held indoors on rowing machines.

Her Royal Highness Princess Anne presented the victorious students with a trophy on Friday August 16 after they scooped the title of Row4Results Champions 2013.

Julius Casela, team captain, said: “I enjoyed the Thames rowing competition because it was my first experience of rowing.

“I wanted to try my best to succeed in winning the competition.

“I was honoured and proud to achieve this and to then be given the opportunity to meet HRH Princess Anne.

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“It is an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

Kingsford students were only introduced to the sport in November last year and they trained for the tournament in PE lessons.

Matt Cherrett, PE teacher, said: “Princess Anne congratulated all of our rowers on their excellent achievement.

“We are all so proud of our students and their achievements which help further demonstrate the strength of Kingsford’s sporting prowess.

“Long may an excellent rowing tradition continue at Kingsford.”

The competition is part of a programme run by the Thames Tideway Tunnel project in partnership with London Youth Rowing to improve access to the sport across the city.

Scott Young, education executive for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, said: “Indoor rowing is a great first step towards more young people rowing on water and on the River Thames, which is a fantastic resource for leisure opportunities located right on our doorstep here in the capital.

“I hope Kingsford’s success in the competition this year will inspire other schools to take part in Row4Results in the future regardless of whether their students have rowed before or not.”