Meet Lawrence and extraOARdinary coach!

Lawrence Farquharson is a Community Outreach Coach at London Youth Rowing (LYR) and has been working with young people for seven years, teaching them rowing techniques. Each Monday he runs sessions at the Yellow Pavilion for young people aged 11-15, so we caught up with him to find out what makes him tick.

Lawrence is passionate about what he does, and that comes through in his classes, so when we asked him how he got into rowing, we were surprised with the answer:

“I got into this role accidentally. I was working for a youth organisation as a multiple sports coach, and I was recommended to LYR as they believed that I engaged well with young people from all backgrounds. The rest is history.”


Lawrence’s teaching style is easy to follow, and his knowledge base is second to none. When asked what he does to keep up to speed with the sport he said:

” I have rowed on a few occasions in my time at LYR, but being able to row is not the central part of my job, I attend numerous rowing programmes to extend my coaching knowledge. It is the engagement side that is important when attracting the young people from the backgrounds that we work with. That is the best aspect of the role for me, working and engaging with young people. ”

When asked what people can expect from the class he said:

“The sessions will be focused on building interest in rowing by teaching correct techniques and developing fitness in the mind and body. The idea for the club is that the young people also have a say in how the classes evolve, that’s an important element.”

Getting Wembley Park ready to compete


NJIRC is the World’s biggest national indoor rowing competition. The event caters for over 2500 young people aged 11-18 and acts as the finale to the indoor rowing year.

Each year the schools that Lawrence work with in Brent participate, and talking about this in more detail he said:

“Schools from all over the UK are invited to participate in races ranging from 2mins to 2000m depending on the Year group. Over 1000 participants from NJIRC 2018 were from LYR’s Active Row programme. We work with around 8000 young people each year from 75 schools around inner London, aiming to increase activity levels through rowing and teach important life skills in the process. This involves four schools from Brent; Newman Catholic, Alperton Community, Ark Academy and Preston Manor. We are working on inviting some more schools from the Brent area to get involved in this also. LYR also support multiple events such as London Youth Games at Crystal Palace Athletics, Stadium and the National Schools Regatta at Eton Dorney.”


The classes at the Yellow Pavilion run every Monday between 4:30-5: 30 pm, when asked to advise young people who may not think that rowing is for them he said:

” Be prepared for some hard work, but think about the advantages that you will be gaining in the long run with regards to leading a healthy lifestyle for both the mind and body.”