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Why does rowing matter?

Rowing is more than just a sport. It opens up opportunity – for travel, for college scholarships, and for developing confident youth poised to lead us into tomorrow.

  • RIVERSPORT Juniors have earned over $13 million in collegiate scholarships over the years
  • 157 NCAA colleges and universities have rowing teams, many offering scholarships – especially in women’s rowing

Rowing is a sport of opportunity that builds community.

Who makes a good rower?

Rowing is a nontraditional sport and it often attracts youth – both boys and girls – who’ve not yet found a place in athletics. In fact, many rowers never saw themselves as athletes until they tried rowing. Others discover rowing as an add-on to their year round sports engagement in swimming, football, basketball or running, for example.

Rowers you should know

LaDarren Landrum found himself homeless at age 19, sleeping in his car in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Today, he is a Marine, a winner of the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s Next Olympic Hopeful competition, a student athlete in rowing at Oklahoma City University, and is training at USRowing High Performance Center in Oklahoma City in hopes of making it to the Olympic Games.

Anita DeFrantz led the first women’s US Olympic rowing team to a bronze medal in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games and went on to become an active member in national and international sporting and Olympic organizations, including becoming the first woman vice-president of the International Olympic Committee.  [Reference]

Aquil Hashim Adbullah was the first African-American to win the Diamond Sculls, Henley, in 2000. Abdullah had missed qualifying for the Sydney Olympic Games by a third of a second, but after his Henley win, he was paired with Henry Nuzum in double sculls. From 2001 to 2004, the double went to three World Cups and two World Championships and in 2004 qualified for the Athens Games, making Abdullah the first black American male to row in the Olympics (two African-American women had preceded him). Note: Abdullah began sculling because he was a football player who needed a spring sport his senior year of high school and he did not want to run ‘track’. [Reference]