The junior inter-regionals are a nationwide rowing competition. It puts the top rowers of certain age categories head to head in a sprint to the finish. It is the largest British rowing competition of the year with the trials taking place this coming Sunday on the 22nd of March 2015 while the regatta will be taking place in April. The race consists of three age categories which will hold races for, at the ages of fourteen and fifteen, singles, doubles and quads while also holding races for eights at the age of sixteen. This competition is a great opportunity for young rowers as it allows them to test their limits and push through the boundaries to achieve more.
To find out more about the JIRR, the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta, we had a little sit down with Mrs Henry the Loughborough boat club junior coordinator about her views in the races, she replied with "I believe that the JIRR is a great opportunity for young rowers to meet and compete against other juniors on a national scale. Thus engendering a sense of community, friendship and support in an otherwise minority sport." This is a great view on the sport although there are others that do not feel the same way, some of the community do not like the idea of this as it not only pits competitors against each other but it also challenges friends to race against one another but not as friends rather as competition.
This competition has been running annually for many years now, it has run through all weather and hardships, there have been gales, floods, storms and many other extreme conditions but through it all this regatta carries on.
The regatta has many entries this year including those from local areas such as Loughborough although it has some from as far away as London. There are many returning rowers as well including those that have recently recovered from injuries. "The inter regionals are amazing, it will be my second time competing in them this year but it's always fun to watch even when not competing. It is definitely by far one of the toughest races there are in the country as the conditions are usually horrific but the payoff is always spectacular, even if you don't win just to compete in an event of this magnitude is an amazing opportunity" claims one young competitor from the local area while another young athlete says that "It's good experience to meet competitors in your region and a great way to socialize it also gives you an understanding on how big the rowing world is and gives you a great visual about how competitive people are and what you have to do if you want to make a living from it and you meet people from other backgrounds that have used rowing to either release stress or to keep fit. Or even from the influence from their parents, wanting to follow in their footsteps."