Row Britannia was an inclusive (adaptive sport) mental health, fitness and wellbeing challenge by The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), for teams throughout the UK to raise vital funds and positive awareness.
Through an extraordinary collaboration of partner organisations, Row Britannia provided a UK-wide platform, campaign and event that brought together universities, colleges, education and sports governing bodies, British Sporting Icons and communities.
To strengthen our collaborative approach, we partnered with Education Governing Bodies including The Committee of University Chairs (CUC), Universities UK (UUK), the Association of Colleges (AoC), Colleges Scotland and Colleges Wales.
Our Education Partners assisted us by inviting every university and college in the UK to participate in Row Britannia. Their Chief Executives & Chairs sent our invitations out to every University Vice-Chancellor and College Principal in the UK and asked them to enter a team in our Row Britannia Challenge, match their student fundraising target to secure donations for our collaboration of Mental Health Charity Partners, and join their students by rowing a mile.
The COVID-19 lockdown measures led to all universities and colleges closing shortly after 13th March 2020 and therefore some students and staff teams were unable to complete their team Row Britannia Challenge or reach their fundraising targets for our charity partners.
During the pandemic crisis we continued to engage with all our education, sport and charity partners; their continued support was overwhelming. Universities, colleges and Students' Unions encouraged us to deliver another UK-wide mental health and fitness fundraising event. All our efforts were then focussed on delivering the BRIT 2021 Challenge and an annual BRIT Challenge.
IMPACT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
Support student mental health, fitness & wellbeing and fundraise in aid of Sport Relief
At its core, Row Britannia was a team 2,020 mile (3,251km) rowing challenge to be completed between 12th November 2019 and 6th June 2020 for every university and college to register a team and raise funds in aid of Sport Relief.
Deliver inspiration & raise awareness from our BRIT
To deliver inspiration and raise awareness, we invited British Sporting Icons to join us as BRIT Ambassadors and visit university and college teams during the 5-month Row Britannia Challenge.
Secure funding from corporations, businesses and philanthropists for our mental health charity partners
Every University Committee Chair, Vice-Chancellor and College Principal were challenged to secure funding, and match their student Sport Relief fundraising targets, for our mental health charity partners.
"We are extremely proud to be a beneficiary of Row Britannia, an event promoting inclusion, teamwork and wellbeing.
We are looking forward to working collaboratively with the other supported charities on new and exciting projects that will help to transform the state of student mental health so that all in higher education can thrive."
Rosie Tressler OBE
BRIT AMBASSADOR SUPPORT
To both raise awareness and support students, our BRIT Ambassador family inspired, encouraged and thanked teams taking on their Row Britannia Challenge. They understood the importance of improving young adult and student mental health, fitness and wellbeing and lent their voices to our UK-wide campaign.
Our BRIT Ambassador family included Olympians, Paralympians, Invictus Games Ambassadors, Adventurers, Explorers, Sports Personalities and Mental Health Ambassadors.
Universities and colleges were asked to host Row Britannia and our BRIT Ambassadors chose locations that they studied at, had a connection with or were keen to visit.
There are approximately 450 universities and colleges in the UK, so we planned a visit itinerary and asked universities to act as host locations and both involve and support their local colleges.
Between 12th November 2019 and 13th March 2020, Phil Packer, our Founder, visited 130 universities and completed the 5 month tour a week before the first COVID-19 lockdown. Almost 100 institutions were taking part in Row Britannia and many of the universities in the Greater London region were planning to register in the weeks before lockdown.
We partnered with AoC Sport, AoC Sport Wales and Scottish Student Sport who engaged with university & college sports managers and asked them to support their student and staff teams throughout the Row Britannia Challenge. We also asked them to assist in providing advice and support with Adaptive Rowing facilities.
AoC Sport, AoC Sport Wales & Scottish Student Sport
The National Union of Students (NUS)
We also partnered with the NUS who wrote to every Students' Union and encouraged them to enter teams in Row Britannia, champion equality, diversity and inclusion, and engage with their whole university or college community.
SPORT PARTNER ORGANISATIONS
We were delighted to have been supported by the following Sporting Governing Bodies throughout the BRIT 2020 Row Britannia Challenge;
British Olympic Association Athletes’ Commission
Royal Yachting Association (RYA)
Scottish Sports Association
Welsh Sports Association