Cardinal Pole rowers meet Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave

Britain’s most successful Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave, CBE, presented medals to aspiring Hackney rowers after taking part in a regatta race at the Olympic rowing centre.

The young people from Cardinal Pole School in Kenworthy Road competed in the EDF Community Rowing Challenge at the Eton Dorney Rowing Centre.

Forty students from five East London schools have taken part in the programme since January, working with coaches from London Youth Rowing.

“It was fantastic to watch these inspiring young athletes complete after training so hard, especially when so few of them had even stepped into a boat before,” said retired rower Redgrave, who won a bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Games as well as gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000.

Edwina Asumang, 14, part of the Cardinal Pole School team, said she never thought she would enjoy rowing as much as she did: “We were nervous about rowing on the water at first, but with the training and coaching we’ve had, we were ready for the challenge.”

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As well as presenting a sporting challenge, the scheme organised by EDF, an official partner of London 2012 aimed to provide life skills to the young rowers, helping them achieve their potential in further education or work.

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