top of page

What we offer...

  • Rowing for Year 6 Primary, and Secondary School Students

  • Single or multiple 1 hour sessions

  • Six progressive one hour sessions leading to a British Rowing - Learn Rowing certificate

Frequently asked questions...

What is S4S?

S4S is a charitable programme that introduces secondary school students to rowing, in a specially designed type of boat called a skerry rowed by up to eight people. It also helps them to appreciate their environment in a totally new way.

Is S4S open to everyone?

Yes. We welcome students of all needs and of all abilities to S4S. Obviously we will do complete risk assessments if there are particular needs. But this is a sport that can accommodate practically everyone.

Fixed seat rowing is a great sport, which is growing faster than any other water sport in the UK. Slightly more girls than boys take part. In our programme, eight students can make up a crew, rowing side by side as pairs on four thwarts. In addition there is a cox and room for a passenger.

It is an unusual sport in that girls and boys can participate as part of the same team. The skerry is perfect for school groups.

Will our students be on a proper training programme?

Yes, a student taking part in a few sessions will be on course to achieve a British Rowing ‘Learn To Row’ qualification and will receive a certificate to show their achievement.

Is it safe?

Yes. Skerries are very stable boats and have been specifically chosen as they are perfect for the River Thames.

What about health and safety issues?

We take health and safety very seriously, it is our No.1 priority.

a)    The school will have policies already in place and these must be complied with. S4S will comply with these policies. Pupils and staff should be reminded of these prior to a S4S session.

b)   In addition pupils, staff and coaches will all wear buoyancy aids provided by S4S when on or near the water.

c)    It should be noted that the river can reflect UV rays and that protection from the sun is an important consideration. A hat may not be sufficient as the rays come from below as well as above.

Do the participants have to be able to swim?

No, being able to swim is obviously a benefit, however it is not essential to S4S. The coach will ask who can swim ahead of the session, so he/she is able to complete the required dynamic risk assessment ahead of each session.

What training have the S4S coaches had?

All supervisory club coaches and session coaches have been BR trained, and any coaching assistants will have been assessed as competent by a BR qualified coach against an agreed set of requirements. In addition they have undergone Disclosure and Barring Checks, have current first aid certification and have had their references checked by S4S. They have also been trained in Safeguarding and Protecting Children.

Will S4S be fully responsible for our students during the sessions?

No, the school continues to have responsibility for the children, under the school policies for groups off school premises. Once on the boat, we are responsible for safety.

We strongly encourage staff members to come on the boat as it provides a shared experience with your students which can form the basis of further lessons/interactions.

What will S4S be responsible for?

S4S will be responsible for ensuring that the rowing activity has been properly assessed and the correct insurances are in place. Each session will start with a safety briefing which will include water safety and handling of equipment.

What will the session cost?

S4S is not looking to make a profit, however we have some basic costs to cover to ensure the boats are safe and the right equipment is in place.

A session in a skerry lasts an hour, taking up to ten students, one member of staff from your school and our S4S coach onto the river. There will be two skerries available, making possible an informal race. The price is £30 for a single boat-session. 

Where will the sessions start and end?

Please see the Richmond or Kingston page for centre locations. The school should arrange transport to and from the session.

How does our school book a session?

It’s simple, visit the Book a session page on this website, select the required time slot for when you want to train (if it is available) and complete a few simple details. The slot will then be reserved for your school as a ‘provisional’ booking. S4S will then contact our coaches, check tides, and reserve the boats. Once this is in place we will confirm the session with you. Alternatively you can contact us at

How many students can our school bring to each session?

Skerries are able to take 20 students in our two boats, plus their teacher and the S4S coach (24 in all). When booking you can book one or two skerries. Therefore the maximum number of young people for an outing is 20. The minimum number of students for a skerry is 4.

How do I find out more?

Simply visit the Contact Us page on this website. Our details are there for you.

bottom of page