Princess Anne crowned a group of students from Kingsford Community School in Newham champions of a cross borough indoor-rowing competition on Friday.
The award ceremony took place at the annual Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race, a rowing race between apprentices working on the River Thames, which dates back almost 300 years and is sponsored for the first time this year by the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
Princess Anne congratulated each of the Year 7 and 8 boys and girls teams and presented them with the winners’ trophy.
The school held off competition from 16 schools in four London boroughs to scoop the title of Row4Results champions 2013.
The competition is part of a programme run by the Thames Tideway Tunnel project in partnership with London Youth Rowing to improve access to the sport across the city.
Starting in November 2012, initial taster sessions were held to introduce pupils to the rowing technique, before schools competed against each other to represent their London borough in grand final.
The Newham students beat the representatives of Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth and Southwark in the grand final which took place in June.
Kingswood school won the competition despite only introducing indoor-rowing to PE lessons this year.
Scott Young, Education Executive for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, said: “Row4Results is all about giving young people access to a sport they might never have taken part in before and providing a chance for them to win something in the process.
“Indoor rowing is a great first step towards more young people rowing on water and on the River Thames, which is a fantastic resource for leisure opportunities located right on our doorstep here in the capital. I hope Kingswood’s success in the competition this year will inspire other schools to take part in Row4Results in the future regardless of whether their students have rowed before or not.”
The Thames Tideway Tunnel project, also known as the supersewer, is a planned 15-mile sewer urgently needed to help tackle discharges of untreated sewage to the river from the capital’s overstretched Victorian sewer network.