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Opening more doors to rowing in Nanaimo

Rowing BC’s Grow Rowing initiative focuses on reducing or removing barriers to accessing rowing for groups that have been previously under-represented in the sport. The Nanaimo Rowing Club (NRC) has been a local partner in this work since Summer 2022, focusing their Grow Rowing programming on creating opportunities for autistic youth to enjoy the sport.

According to Megan, an NRC coach and Canucks Autism Network (CAN) volunteer, a partnership between the NRC, Rowing BC, and CAN is a significant step towards promoting inclusivity and expanding opportunities in rowing. This program was made possible thanks to a partnership between Rowing BC and NRC, supported by funding from the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association’s “Reaching Each and Every One Grant.”

By collaborating with CAN, NRC has been able to provide a learning environment that is sustainable for all types of learners, especially those who may not find traditional learn-to-row programs accessible. By working with CAN, they have created a supportive and inclusive space where people from different backgrounds and abilities can receive the necessary support and guidance to learn and enjoy the sport of rowing.

One story that comes to the mind of NRC staff is a participant from this year. This participant really enjoyed learning how to row and picked up on it quite quickly. Later in the summer they entered into one of the Junior learn to rows. Having the previous knowledge of the sport delivered through CAN made their experience better.

“I was happy to see that the rowing program in partnership with CAN was able to provide an opportunity for the participants to get involved in the community outside of CAN programs,”

said Megan.

For Megan, working the programs with CAN allows for a feeling of pride and excitement. This comes when participants that have been struggling to achieve certain aspects of the stroke figure it out and it clicks. 

Engaging in rowing not only provides physical activity but also fosters a sense of community and belonging. By offering this opportunity, the Nanaimo Rowing Club is enabling individuals to become active participants in their community, fostering social connections, and promoting overall well-being.

Not only has the partnership with CAN benefited the participants, but it has also enhanced the capabilities of the rowing club itself. It has equipped the club with the necessary skills and specialized equipment to cater to a wider range of demographics in the surrounding area. This expanded accessibility ensures that more individuals, regardless of their abilities or backgrounds, can engage in rowing and enjoy the benefits it brings.

Overall, the collaboration between the Nanaimo Rowing Club, Rowing BC, and the Canucks Autism Network through the Grow Rowing initiative demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and creating opportunities for all. By providing an environment that supports diverse learners and fostering community engagement, this partnership is making a positive impact on individuals’ lives and contributing to a more inclusive and vibrant rowing community.

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.

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