Skip to content

Continuing to row in a new home

Rowing BC’s Grow Rowing initiative has seen multiple rowing organizations across the province partnering with local organizations to make the sport of rowing accessible to everyone in the community. One of the clubs that has taken on this initiative is Inlet Rowing Club (IRC) based in Port Moody.

With many newcomers to Canada, specifically families from the Ukraine, settling in Port Moody, IRC felt the urge to support these newcomers through sport. All it took was one email from a teenager who had rowing experience in Ukraine to set off Inlet’s newcomer initiative.

Inlet Rowing Club partnered with Maple Hope, a non-profit organization helping Ukrainians in Canada suffering from war, and Rowing BC to make rowing accessible to the newcomers in the area. This program was made possible thanks to a partnership between Rowing BC and Inlet Rowing Club, supported by funding from the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association’s “Reaching Each and Every One” Grant. This partnership allowed Inlet to host a handful of learn-to-row sessions for Ukrainian newcomers to support, encourage, and welcome them into the community.

According to IRC board member, Emily, the program was a huge success. They were able to host two different sessions for Ukrainians new to Canada in the Fall of 2022 and Spring of 2023. According to Emily, the athletes and their parents were excited and grateful about the opportunity. An aim for the program was to create an environment that could bring the community together and relieve some transitional struggles.

“Rowing brought so much joy to these kids,”

said Emily who noted that club members were overwhelmed by the positive and eager attitudes of these children so affected by war.

But it wasn’t just the athletes that put in the effort that created a successful program. IRC coaches felt the experience made them stronger coaches and stronger as a club. Some Inlet coaches began to learn to speak Ukrainian in order to better communicate with the athletes and the parents. After the program ended, IRC searched for and found funding for an athlete to continue rowing with the club who otherwise would be unable to afford it. After the programs, Inlet retained four athletes, with a growing interest from other participants.

With the notable success of the learn-to-row programs for Ukrainian youth, Inlet partnered with the City of Coquitlam to offer the same program to newcomers in local high schools. Titled the “Global Youth Program”, this pilot program will be available to recent immigrants to Canada through the various high schools in Coquitlam. While this program has not launched yet, IRC is very excited to continue their work with newcomers in the community and grow the sport of rowing.

Programs like these are heavily supported by grant funding and individual donations. You can make an impact through covering participant fees in Grow Rowing programs like these by making a donation today!

Give the gift of rowing: 

Rowing BC has partnered with the BC Amateur Sport Fund (BCASF) to raise funds to benefit our province-wide initiative to grow rowing. Eligible donations to BCASF to benefit our Grow Rowing project can receive a tax receipt.  Your donation will ensure that funding is not a limiting factor to how many new programs and experiences can be developed in a low-barrier way for previously under-represented groups across the province. By ensuring the real costs of a program like coaching, equipment, facility rental, coach boat gas etc. are taken care of, you are allowing local rowing organizations to get creative in how they run meaningful programming for new participant groups – whether their goal is to overcome a fear of water, try an outdoor sport for the first time, or begin the path to a future Olympics!

Donate today to be part of ensuring all British Columbians can discover, pursue and enjoy the sport of rowing.

Your support will be part of creating an opportunity for someone this coming season who otherwise wouldn’t be benefiting from all our great sport has to offer.

 The BC Amateur Sport Fund is the BC chapter of the Canadian Council of Provincial & Territorial Sport Federations, a Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Association with charitable status (CRA number 88938 6868 RR0001). The BC Amateur Sport Fund is administered by Sport BC to promote participation, competition, and governance in amateur sport across Canada.

Back To Top