Young students hone their rowing skills

Students from across South Ayrshire tried their hand at rowing on the River Ayr.
Students from across South Ayrshire tried their hand at rowing on the River Ayr.

Young people from across South Ayrshire took to the River Ayr in coastal rowing boats, single seat sculls and canoes last week for a free rowing and water sports event.

School pupils and GE Caledonian apprentices working towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and students from UWS who were keen to explore the meandering waterway took part in the event led by South Ayrshire Council in partnership with Scottish Rowing, University of West of Scotland, Ayrshire coastal rowing clubs and the RNLI.

Ryan Matthews an apprentice from GE Caledonian said: “It was a very enjoyable experience and good training for my DofE Gold canoeing expedition later in the summer. It also made me realise the fitness required for this type of activity and how I need to get fitter.”

Councillor William Grant, children and young people portfolio holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “This is a great way for young people to explore nature, increase their confidence and learn new skills at the same time. We need to respect all our waterways but rivers should also be enjoyed and the young people taking part clearly had a great time thanks to the expert supervision.”

Vincent McWhirter, RNLI volunteer community safety officer said: “We have 45 miles of coast line from Barassie to Ballantrae with four main rivers and numerous lochs all of which are very attractive but can also be potentially dangerous, so it was really worthwhile to teach the young people new skills and at the same time learn about the hazards but in a fun way.”