Five times Olympic gold medalist Sir Steve Redgrave faces his biggest challenge yet – turning a squad of youngsters from inner city Liverpool into top class rowers.
Five times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave faces possibly his biggest challenge yet – turning a squad of youngsters from inner city Liverpool into top class rowers, in Redgrave’s Raw Recruits for ITV4.
Part of the channel’s No Limits Season, the sporting legend has taken up the challenge of transforming eight lads into rowing stars to compete at the highest level of the sport in Britain – and take on the experts at the Henley Royal Regatta.
The search began in 2005. The challenge was to find 40 boys willing to go through the initial fitness and aptitude tests – an enormous task for Sir Steve and every bit as tough as racing for gold. Not only will he be using all his skills and energy to turn a group of novices into a professional crew, he will be staking his reputation on their success.
However, this journey is about much more than learning to row. Ultimately, it’s about awakening the ambition and the power to succeed for a whole generation of Britain’s young people. And in the build up to the 2012 London Olympics, the time couldn’t be more right for Sir Steve’s mission.
Sir Steve said of the project: “To take 40 complete beginners and teach them to row and be fit enough to race at Henley Royal Regatta in seven months is almost impossible. Every guy that took part in the project is a winner, not just the eight that raced in the qualifiers at Henley. If you put huge effort in there will be benefits at the other end. The eight rowers weren’t giants in stature, as most rowers are, but have gained confidence and also respect from the rowing world. The proof of this is what they have achieved since. The stuff that these boys have learnt and have been a part of will be with them for the rest of their lives.”