Marlow will roll out the red carpet for a member of the royal family next month as the Princess Royal launches a first-of-its-kind regatta for children with disabilities and special needs.

The river will come to life on June 14 as HRH The Princess Royal officially opens the first ever Rivertime Accessible Regatta at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre.

More than 350 children from 20 schools in the Thames Valley will take part in the event, which is aimed at children with disabilities and special needs aged eight to 15.  

The regatta, which is being organised by the Rivertime Boat Trust and the charity Give Them a Sporting Chance – which Her Royal Highness is a guardian of – will feature a full-on programme of water sports including bell boating, sailing and powerboating.

Accessible canoeing will also debut at the regatta, along with kayaking and rowing.

Back on land, The National Sports Centre, working with other charities, will be putting on a range of accessible sports such as wheelchair basketball and tennis, boccia, cycling, new age kurling, cheerleading, archery, land sailing and disability football.

More than 20 young sports leaders – many from SEN schools - will also be volunteering on the day putting their skills into action as they work towards certificates in leadership.

Simon Davis, Rivertime Boat Trust Co-founder and Chairman said: “I am delighted that the Princess Royal is able to join us to launch our first Accessible Regatta which is unique in providing participation for so many children and young people in one place at one time.

“We are delighted by the enthusiasm and support we have received and it is this which will drive us forward to create The Rivertime Accessible Regatta as an annual event, inspiring other organisations and charities to organise similar events and encouraging children and young people with disabilities to develop a long-term involvement with accessible sports.”

Carers supporting the children participating in the regatta will have the opportunity to take part in a Carers Challenge on the day in recognition of their contribution and support.

Anne Wadsworth, Give Them a Sporting Chance Trustee, says: “Everyone’s life can be enriched and their horizons expanded by a sporting chance.

“I am delighted that so many special young people will share this wonderful day of sporting chances at Bisham Abbey on June 14. 

“This is exactly what Give Them a Sporting Chance is all about. It has been wonderful to work with the Rivertime Boat Trust to put on this event together.”

It is hoped that the accessible regatta will become an annual event encouraging young people with disabilities to enjoy water sports.