Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust


Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust was formally established by the governing body of the Regatta in June 1988. The principal objective of the Trust is to provide funds to encourage and support young people (still receiving education or undergoing training) to row or scull. 

The Trust is funded mainly from donations from Henley Royal Regatta. It also benefits from the generosity of other donors, both corporate and individual, including Members of the Stewards’ Enclosure.

Project Oarsome & Coaching Scholarship Scheme

One of the Trust’s early donations was to Project Oarsome in 1998 and over the next 5 years totalled £190,000. Once this project was successfully implemented, the target moved to finding and supporting additional coaches to look after all the new, young rowers. In 2002 the Trust worked with British Rowing to initiate a Coaching Scholarship Scheme.

In September 2002 the programme started with just two apprentice coaches and, over the years, the project has supported 82 coaches to successfully graduate the scheme in locations across the United Kingdom.  Each coach undertakes a two-year, part-time postgraduate course in coaching, sports development or the health/social-related benefits of sport, while undertaking to spend at least 20 hours per week coaching juniors in their assigned area.

To date the HRR Charitable Trust has donated over £2.1 million to this particular initiative. 

Before the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed in March 2020, the three current coaches based in Bedford, Dorney and Sunderland had coached over 1,400 young people at least once, with the involvement of 31 state schools and a number of community organisations.


London Youth Rowing (LYR) was founded in 2004 in the hope that young people across London would have access to an otherwise traditionally niche sport and, in turn, help the rowing community become a more diverse, more inclusive environment.

The HRR Trust started its support of LYR in 2006 by helping to fund a number of coaches; today, LYR employs 10 full-time coaches, multiple part-time coaches and office staff to accommodate working with around 10,000 young people in schools, youth clubs and rowing clubs across London each year.

In 2021, the Trust extended its support of the Active Row programme in London alongside funding its expansion into Leeds where it will provide indoor rowing machines and full-time coaches in at least 17 secondary schools across the city.

Through Active Row, HRRCT funding will help to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of over 3,000 young people through indoor and on-water rowing, coaching and training.

In addition, a specific new coach development programme, funded by HRRCT, will target improved inclusion in rowing.


Encouraging disadvantaged young people to be active, and improve their physical, social and mental wellbeing.

Helping develop crucial life skills which are necessary for success in the classroom and the workplace.

Enabling young people to participate in the unique sport - indoor and on-water rowing - across London, regardless of background, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability or ability.

Nurturing determination and success in a new generation of rowers. 

To read more about this scheme: https://www.londonyouthrowing.com/welcome


In March 2019 the HRR Charitable Trust supported London Youth Rowing to host the 13th annual National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships (NJIRC) at the Copper Box Arena located in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This amazing venue was an inspiration for the nearly 1,750 young people who entered from across the country.

The 2020 Championships, again supported by the Trust, was held at the end of February and was one of the last mass events in the rowing calendar to take place in the UK, in the main due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The event saw 2,000 competitors take to its sporting stage, and was supported by 250 volunteers.

The 2021 Championships are due to take place on 26th February 2021 at the Copper Box Arena, London.




In June 2016 Ben Dunne, then a local High School Principal, and Richard Sinnott of Warrington Rowing Club came up with a simple plan:

To engage with Warrington pupils who would not normally have access to rowing and take them on a sporting journey with the ambition to change their lives.

This plan neatly coincided with the arrival of a Scholarship Coach at Warrington and the project was launched in September 2016.

Initially eight of Warrington’s Secondary Schools took part and each selected ten students, all from the Pupil Premium Register. The students were taken to the rowing club during the school day and were given a two-hour rowing session. 

Warrington Youth Rowing is designed to help bring out the best in the young people involved, helping them to develop a whole range of skills that will serve them in their future, as well as improving self-esteem, self-confidence, resilience and other life skills.

In 2017 the HRR Charitable Trust took a more direct interest and, due to its considerable success in changing young people’s lives, in 2019 the scheme was expanded to include a new site in Liverpool, hosted by Mersey Rowing Club.  Unfortunately, shortly after the programme commenced, the Liverpool Watersports Centre had to close for refurbishment, forcing the coaches to transport a bank of ergometers to each of the partner schools!

Twenty secondary schools and over 250 pupils are involved in this innovative project and in September 2020, Covid-19 permitting, the HRR Charitable Trust has agreed to fund a further expansion, hosted at Northwich Rowing Club to serve the schools in Mid Cheshire.

To read more about this scheme: https://warringtonyouthrowing.org.uk/


Oarsome Chance brings about change for young people, aged from 9-19 years in the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant areas who are disengaged from mainstream education and at risk of exclusion and suffering disadvantage. The Oarsome Chance educational programmes offer a combination of on water and dry rowing activities alongside vocational skills training (boat building, canvas skills and bike recycling) and provide educational and employability benefits to help them connect to a brighter future.

The HRR Charitable Trust awarded Oarsome Chance a multi-year grant to support its work in delivering rowing activities to their vulnerable young beneficiaries, and recently funded the charity to take a crew of young rowers to the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships in London.

For more information on Oarsome Chance visit www.oarsomechance.org or find them on Facebook and Twitter: @oarsomechance


The Trust’s emphasis has always been to support schemes that help develop the sport of rowing among boys and girls at ‘grass-roots level’. More than 30 different projects have been supported during this period, some spanning a number of years and others being one-off schemes.

These projects range from supporting the rebirth of the Ball Cup Regattas for smaller schools to assisting The Blenheim Palace Junior Regatta.

The Trust contributes annually to The Rowing Foundation. Donations have been made to many specific causes to assist young apprentices such as adaptive rowing, the British Universities Sports Association, the River & Rowing Museum, the Mark Lees Foundation, an Imperial College London Biodynamics project and The Watermen’s Foundation, to assist young apprentices.

Making a donation

If you would like to make a regular donation to the Trust, please set up a Standing Order in favour of 'Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust'

To make a one-off donation, please send a cheque, made payable to
'Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust'
to Regatta Headquarters, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2LY