Blog post -

Mental Health Awareness Week: Fulham Reach Boat Club

There is no shortage of evidence to the fact that physical activity can have a hugely positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of adults and children.

Improved mood and a decreased chance of depression and anxiety are just two of the mental benefits that being physically active can bring to Londoners.

Throughout the past 12 months, with the covid-19 pandemic, multiple lockdowns and serious disruption to their schooling, the mental health of young people has been particularly affected.

In January, charity Young Minds found that 67% of young people believed that the pandemic will have a long-term negative effect on their mental health.

So, for Mental Health Awareness Week, London Sport are looking at community physical activity and sport organisations that focus on supporting mental wellbeing as well as physical health.

Fulham Reach Boat Club

Fulham Reach Boat Club (FRBC) is a charity and community boat club with a unique vision to improve lives through rowing by providing rowing for all. 

They give access to rowing to a cross section of the community especially those who are most in need because of financial hardship or social circumstance and help them realise their full potential both on and off the water. 

Through coaching rowing, FRBC teaches young people confidence, focus and teamwork. Rowing requires many transferable skills that can benefit many other parts of young people’s lives.

By making rowing accessible to all, FRBC gives young people the opportunity to enjoy the Thames and the great outdoors safely and experience something that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

It boosts participant’s self-confidence, physical, mental and social wellbeing and positivity in outlook as evidenced in the charity’s feedback:

What They Say – Steve O’Connor, CEO

“At Fulham Reach Boat Club we give young people fair access to the power of sport and an active lifestyle, we know that taking part in sport and specifically rowing can change young people’s lives.

“Our inclusive rowing projects support young people through complex transitions during their secondary school life.  Through our projects we see participants flourish, build confidence, resilience, and form safe new communities in which to express themselves through sport”

Success Stories

Christian, pupil at Burlington Danes Academy             

“I never really found a sport I could do properly. I could play basketball but not too great, I couldn’t play football at all and the other sports didn’t really do it for me.

“Rowing gives you a huge character boost, it gives you a huge confidence boost.  Things that may have seemed to be a big problem didn’t seem to be much of a problem anymore.”

Beth Cutting, teacher at Hammersmith Academy

“We really appreciate FRBC’s support for our mish-mash of students and if you had heard (participant) Sonny talking about (his) race it would have been a lovely moment.

“He enjoyed it so much and was talking me through every part of the morning. I can’t begin to tell you what a difference rowing is having on his behaviour at school, his discipline and time keeping.”

Ricardo’s mum, Fulham Boys School

“When my son started secondary school he hated all sport and dreaded sports afternoons so much. In Year 9 he was introduced to rowing at Fulham Reach BC and from then on it was like a duck to water.

“It wasn't easy at first, obviously never having rowed before, it was tough. He still has a lot to learn, but the experience was fantastic and gave him a real taste of competitive rowing and encouragement to continue. 

“It is wonderful for me as a parent to see him happy doing a sport he really likes and to actually look forward to going to rowing. He enjoys working together with his friends as part of a team and the freedom of being outside on the water.”


  • Health, Health Care, Pharmaceuticals


  • fulham reach boat club
  • children and young people
  • river thames
  • london sport awards
  • thames
  • rowing
  • fulham reach
  • fulham


  • Greater London


Press Office

Press contact

Anil Manji

Press contact Head of Marketing and Communications

Related content