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.

The Trustees are:

Sir Steve Redgrave CBE, Chair of the Trustees
A Freeman-Pask
C L Baillieu MBE
R C Lester  
R C Stanhope
S K Winckless MBE

The Future of Rowing

Rocking the Boat 2023

We are delighted to have seen so many familiar faces and plenty of new ones at Rocking the Boat 2023. Why not catch up on our 2023 event? Fourteen speakers contributed their thoughts and shared their expertise throughout the day. If you missed out, you can catch up by watching the sessions linked below.

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Our Projects

London Youth Rowing

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, inclusive environment.

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

The Trust has extended its support of the Active Row programme in London to fund its expansion into Leeds, Nottingham and Bristol where the programme is providing rowing opportunities in deprived areas. Discover more

National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships

The 2023 Championships saw two live events taking place simultaneously, with young people in Leeds and London able to compete against each other in the same competition via video links.

With an emphasis on making rowing available to all, the choice of a multi-location event meant that participants could attend without having to make the journey to the capital.

NJIRC is now one of the largest indoor rowing events in the world. In total, there were nearly 3000 participants, entering from different groups, clubs and schools from across the country.

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Warrington Youth Rowing

Established in 2016 the aim of Warrington Youth Rowing is to open up the sport of rowing to young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity, with hubs across Warrington, Liverpool, Northwich, Greater Manchester and Runcorn.

The 500 young people involved are from a traditionally non-rowing background and have been chosen by their teachers, on the basis that they would benefit from being active and challenged in a positive way for two hours every week.

WYR is partnering with LJMU, giving opportunities for students to work with the Performance Sports Department.

The charity also trains the school staff that bring the students down to the clubs as Level 2 coaches and RYA Launch Drivers to ensure that the project is sustainable in the long-term. Discover more 

Oarsome Chance

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. Discover more  


The Henley Royal Regatta Charitable Trust has been the main supporter of The Rowing Foundation for the last thirty years.

The Rowing Foundation’s purpose is to promote the participation in rowing of young people under the age of 18 or in full time education and the disabled of all ages. It gives capital grants of 50% of the total cost of rowing equipment needed by organisations and clubs affiliated to British Rowing. The Foundation also gives grants monthly for the refurbishment of rowing boats used exclusively by juniors. The refurbishment has been a very popular and successful scheme which involves junior rowers in the application process.

In 2022 the Foundation awarded over thirty grants totalling over £75,000 for capital equipment and refurbishment. Discover more

Project Oarsome & Coaching Scholarship Scheme

One of the Trust’s early donations was to Project Oarsome in 1998. Following the projects success, 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, benefiting more than 1,400 young people and 31 state schools.  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.


The Trust’s emphasis is to support schemes that help develop the sport of rowing among boys and girls at grassroots 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 also 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.


The overriding aim of the Ball Cup is to give small and emerging clubs and their emerging competitors a chance to experience true competition.

The Cup dates back to 1934 when a Challenge trophy was presented by Frank Ball to be competed for by schools with less than 40 members on an annual basis and this tradition has continued to this day. The growth of the Ball Cup mirrored the growth in the sport and by 2008 over 400 crews and 1000 athletes were competing.

The two regattas, one held at Dorney Lake and the other at Runcorn Rowing Club, continue to give the athletes the opportunity for competition at their level and to learn the race craft in a friendly environment. Discover more

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EAST anglia youth rowing

The Trust has supported East Anglia Youth Rowing since 2022, a project which gives 600 young people from 16 schools (including one primary) in Cambridge, Huntingdon, Ely, Sudbury and Norwich the opportunity to take part in on-water activities and indoor rowing for schools not near water.

The project is now receiving funds to pay for a full time rowing coach.

Participants and their teachers/caregivers report improvements in confidence, teamwork, engagement with school, and positive mental health for the students who took part in EAYR programmes. Discover more

Castle mead academy

Castle Mead Academy, based in Leicester City Centre, is partnering with Leicester Rowing Club to provide training for students on the ‘Mile Straight’ on the canalised River Soar.

The project seeks to drive social mobility and broaden the horizons of pupils who take responsibility for their learning, training and time on the water, building crucial life skills and self-esteem.

With the support of the Trust, CMA offers Rowing Scholarships, weekly training sessions and access to take part in races and regattas. Discover more

the gorse academies trust

This multi-academy trust project seeks to provide rowing opportunities on state school budgets, serving communities characterised by disadvantage, in a city with little hinterland in rowing.

HRRCT is funding high-quality coaching sessions for all Year 7, 8 and 9 students (4,500) who experience ergo rowing every week, and 300 who take part in on-water activities.

Students are selected for participation from six secondary schools across Leeds, plus one post-16 college and an alternative provision academy. Discover more

henley rowing club

HRRCT is pleased to offer support to its local schools who partner with Henley Rowing Club. On-water and indoor rowing sessions are provided for pupils who would otherwise not access the sport.

Coaching sessions are available to students from two local secondary schools and one sixth form college.

Water-based taster-sessions have been provided to 50 primary school children in Year 6, with plans to extend this offer to all primary schools in Henley next summer. Discover more

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