Rowing BC’s Mission is that “All British Columbians are able to discover, pursue and enjoy the sport of rowing.” This means our mandate extends beyond the current rowing community and includes everyone here in BC. We want to ensure the door to the rowing community is open, that there is an explicit invitation to get involved, and that if/when someone chooses to give it a try they experience a safe, welcoming and inclusive sport community.
Rowing BC is taking a purposeful and proactive approach to growing and diversifying the rowing community, with the intention of developing a membership which better represents all of BC. This work is taking place at Rowing BC’s 40+ member organizations across the province. We are creating new partnerships to help us reach out to previously under-represented demographics of participants, creating custom-made and innovative program models and opportunities for rowing experiences, and expanding the range of equipment utilized to make sure there really is a place in rowing for all who want to be involved. Rowing BC staff are working hands-on with coaches and volunteers from local rowing organizations to ensure this new initiative is done in a sustainable way that will create lasting impacts for years to come.
This initiative purposefully considers the demographic of the community surrounding each rowing club, in an effort to make rowing clubs better reflect their host communities. In addition, a focus is put on women & girls, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI2S+, BIPOC individuals, local First Nations, low-income families, newcomers to Canada, youth and seniors. The goal is to lower barriers to entry as much as possible. For some of these new participants, fees become a barrier. Your support ensures that new programs and experiences are financially sustainable for the host organization without putting undue pressure on the participants themselves.
In Summer 2021, 56 new participants from the Vancouver area were able to access custom-built rowing opportunities through Rowing BC’s grow rowing pilot project in partnership with the False Creek Rowing Club and Rowing Canada Aviron. Participants included autistic youth and their adult support workers, low-income youth and their adult mentors, and BIPOC young adults. These 56 individuals filled all of the available spots in programs, and every program had a waitlist!
In Spring and Summer 2022, grow rowing initiatives took place at 4 local rowing organizations for participants from 6 non-rowing partner organizations. In total, 190 new participants had an exposure to rowing through these custom-made programs. Programs included introductory options, supported rowing continuation options, and reciprocal training for rowing coaches and staff from the non-rowing partner organizations. In Fall 2022, Rowing BC will be hosting our first Stem 2 Stern community boat building opportunity inviting participants from our non-rowing partner organizations to engage with the community in a new way – rolling up their sleeves and getting comfortable with hand tools to build a boat from scratch!
So far, we have had the privilege of working with the following partner organizations to create custom-made programming:
- Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
- Boys and Girls Club, South Coast BC
- Canucks Autism Network
- Colour the Trails
- Girl Guides
- Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria
- University of British Columbia – KIN465
In 2023 so far, 11 local rowing clubs have begun their own programming for equity-deserving groups. As just one example, check out this story on a program for Ukranian Refugees taking place in Port Moody.
The opportunities below can provide funding to support individuals and/or local rowing organizations to reduce the financial barrier to sport participation.
- KidSport – Families can apply for up to $400 a year in funding per child to support the participation fees of a sport program that is at least 1x per week for 8 weeks in duration. Applications must be submitted before the beginning of the sport season.
- Canadian Tire Jumpstart Individual Child Grants – Available to families who meet certain financial eligibility criteria. Up to $300 available per activity for activities at least 1x per week for 5 weeks in duration (or a five day summer camp program). Applications must be submitted before the beginning of the sport season and can take 6-8 weeks for processing.
- Canadian Tire Jumpstart Community Development Grants – Two streams of support available (Operational Support and Programming Support). Organizations serving children/youth with financial need and or disabilities are eligible to apply. Three application intake periods per year: October (for Jan – Apr programs), February (for May – Aug programs), and June (for Sept – Dec programs).
- RCA Community Sport for All Grants – Funding is available to support programs designed by local rowing organizations for the purpose of targeting equity-deserving groups (Black, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQQIA+, Newcomers to Canada, and Women & Girls). Most grants range from $10,000-$30,000. The next application period will open sometime in 2023 for Summer/Fall programming.
- RISE Grant – Available to youth/young adults who are or have been in government care. Up to $1000 available to support one-time or continuing participation in sport programs including registration fees, equipment, and/or travel costs.
- viaSport Rally Together Grant – Available to provincial and local sport organizations who experienced at least a 20% loss in their membership due to the pandemic. A total of $4 million has been allocated to the BC Sport Sector for this grant opportunity. Applications are due November 4, 2022.
Know of another funding opportunity that could apply to these programs? Let us know. Email [email protected]
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.
Diversity and Inclusion Resources
Coach.ca provides coaching resources and information for diversity and inclusion in coaching.
For more information about women in coaching, click here.
For more information about aboriginal coaching, click here and here.
For more information about LGBTQ+ athletes and coaching, click here.
For more information about coaching athletes with a disability, click here and here.
For more information about coaching masters athletes, click here.
For more information about coaching new-comers to Canada, click here.
Aboriginal Sport Circle offers virtual cultural awareness training to sport organizations across Canada. This program is called The Path: Your Journey through Indigenous Canada, a virtual classroom course in Indigenous cultural awareness.
For more information on this course, click here.
Aboriginal Sport Circle is Canada’s National voice for Aboriginal sport, physical activity and recreation.
For general information, click here.
The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport offers various programs to help Canadians navigate the issues that threaten positive sport experiences. This includes the True Sport program, Policy Templates and other relevant resources.
For more information, click here.
The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion is an organization following how people identify alongside demographic trends within the Canadian workplace with the goal of moving employers from diversity to inclusion.
For more information, click here.
The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity works to empower gender and sexually diverse communities through education, research and advocacy.
For more information, click here.
Special Olympics Canada have put together a series of infographics on Diversity and Inclusion to highlight key points from previous strategies and resources.
To access these infographics, click here.