Young children at a Huddersfield school held a video chat with a world record holder who rowed across the Atlantic alone … and their class is named in honour of her.

Victoria Evans rowed the 2,559 nautical miles across the ocean in a new time of 40 days and 19 hours in 2022, beating the previous women’s record by nine days.

The sports lawyer from London took time out from her busy schedule to have a video chat with the reception class children from St Aidan’s C of E Academy School in Skelmanthorpe.

Class teacher Helen Ford said: “Classes at St Aidan’s are all named after champions so the children can understand the importance of never giving up, trying our best and achieving through adversity.” 

Other classes are Greta Thunburg, Stevie Wonder, paralympic athlete Stephen Miller, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and deaf English actress Rose Ayling-Ellis.

Several reception children asked Victoria questions such as: ‘What did you eat and drink?’

Victoria revealed she had a special machine that turned sea water into drinking water and ate food parcels like astronauts have in space and had a very small stove to cook on.

On the way she saw dolphins, turtles and whales but revealed she was very lonely.

And she had a special message for the children saying that at school she listened, showed respect and worked very hard for herself and her teachers and urged the St Aidan’s youngsters to do the same.

After completing her amazing feat Victoria told news organisations at the time: “I hope I’ve proven on a wider scale what women are capable of. There’s such a culture of manly adventure sport, but women are just as capable and just as resilient.”

Victoria has set up the organisation Sea Change Sport ( that promotes fair treatment in sport for all, especially women.

Helen added: “The children were in absolute awe of Victoria. They couldn’t believe this lady wanted to speak to them and to hear how she behaved at school has really made an impact on how the children behave too. It was a very special moment in our reception class.”

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.