The rising popularity of competitive rowing in the Philadelphia area has pushed the sport upriver from its Boathouse Row epicenter to the suburbs of Conshohocken, where the burgeoning Whitemarsh Boat Club (WBC), a non-profit community rowing organization, will hold Discover Rowing Day on July 22, 2012. Discover Rowing Day will enable anyone who has ever been curious about the sport to learn more about rowing and experience an on-water row on the Schuylkill River. The program is open to men and women over the age of 14.
WBC’s Discover Rowing Day will be located at the Hines Rowing Center, 801 Washington Street, Conshohocken, PA, starting at 10:00 a.m. The program will feature coached rowing machine (ergometer) training, an equipment overview, and an on-river row, plus light refreshments. No rowing experience is required.
The cost of the program is $30 with advanced registration, or $50 at the door, and $30 can be applied to a summer or fall Learn-to-Row program. More information on registration is available at the Whitemarsh Boat Club website.
“Philadelphia is known as a great rowing city, but rowing is a sport that can seem inaccessible to those who did not participate on a college or high school team. Our mission is to make this tremendous sport accessible to everyone through programs like Discover Rowing Day,” said WBC president Bill Scher.
Scher noted that many members who first learned to row at WBC as adults now compete in area masters regattas, including the Independence Day Regatta held last week in Philadelphia. More than 25 Whitemarsh rowers competed.
Founded in 2005, WBC is home to an active membership of more than 100 men and women from across the Delaware Valley, ranging in age from 21 to 78 years old.
The club offers six group rowing practices per week on a bucolic, calm, and wide stretch of the Schuylkill River. WBC offers sweep and sculling programs for all ability levels, from novice programs for people of all ages new to the sport, to competitive racing for veteran rowers. In the past three years, the club has introduced rowing to many area residents through its ongoing Learn-To-Row programs.
WBC also maintains an active juniors program, in which high school-aged students whose high schools do not have formal rowing programs (or are off-season) can practice and compete.
Marking a first for Philadelphia-area rowing clubs, WBC offers scholarships to individuals who have a passion for rowing but due to financial constraints would not otherwise be able to participate in a club program.
Whitemarsh Boat Club is organized as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization managed solely by volunteers, and is devoted to bringing rowing opportunities to teens and adults of all abilities in the Philadelphia suburbs. It is the only rowing club outside of Philadelphia’s historic Boathouse Row to be an Associate Member of the Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia, the oldest amateur athletic governing body in the United States. More information about WBC and its programs is available at the club’s website: www.whitemarshboatclub.org.