HEALTH & WELLNESS
Project: OpportUNITY Initiative at the RIVERSPORT Youth Rowing League
Rowing changes lives in unexpected ways, building not just physical strength and athletic ability, but also trust, resilience and leadership skills that last a lifetime. The RIVERSPORT Youth Rowing League (YRL) has been removing financial barriers and providing access for middle and high school students to participate since 2009. RIVERSPORT provides the program, coaches, uniforms, boats, and oars to Title I schools for free.
Over the last decade, the YRL has served 2500 youth. Consequently, the original fleet of boats has aged to the point where repair costs far exceed the value of equipment. RIVERSPORT is requesting funds to update the fleet with three new boats, oars, cox boxes and safety equipment.
In Oklahoma, kids who do not initially excel at traditional ball sports start to self-identify as being non-athletic. RIVERSPORT is redefining “athlete” by offering non-traditional water sports to youth from underserved communities. Additionally, giving youth from Title I schools the opportunity to be a part of a Boathouse community and introducing them to the networking and possible collegiate opportunities opens a brighter educational and economic future. The potential is significant – RIVERSPORT junior rowers have earned over $13M in college scholarships – and these opportunities are resonating. Seven new schools have signed up to start rowing teams, and Oklahoma City Public School District has committed to providing transportation from school to the Boathouse District. Investing in new boats ensures we can keep the momentum going as we provide access and opportunity for this next generation of student rowers.
Visit us at: www.riversportokc.org.