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The power of seeing people like YOU enjoying rowing
The first pilot programs of Rowing BC’s Grow Rowing initiatives were offered in 2021 in partnership with Rowing Canada Aviron and the False Creek Rowing Club. Now, three Summer seasons later, the False Creek Rowing Club (FCRC) in Vancouver is still going strong with their original Grow Rowing programs and partnerships, in addition to many new ones.
This Summer, FCRC has been running Grow Rowing community programs in partnership with Canucks Autism Network, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of MetroVancouver, Athletics for Kids, and Colour the Trails. Each of these organizations work tirelessly to break down barriers for folks facing inequalities that keep them from accessing the sport of rowing.
The Colour the Trails program works to bring people of colour into outdoor recreational spaces. In partnership with them, False Creek hosted a come and try event for BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) in the community to get a taste of the sport and to connect with their peers. Participants were exposed to on-land and on-water training in a fun and supportive environment on the waters of False Creek.
This program was made possible thanks to a partnership between Rowing BC and False Creek Rowing Club, supported by funding from the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association’s “Reaching Each and Every One” Grant.
A recent Colour the Trails come and try event quickly filled up all 12 of the spots available. Each participant is a member of the BIPoC community and were brand new to the sport of rowing. All the equipment was provided to them by FCRC as they took to the water for their introductory session.
The come and try event was a chance to spark interest in future opportunities for rowing, but also just to enjoy sometime outside with friends and peers.
However, False Creek Rowing Club isn’t hosting these events solely to gain more members. The club knows that access is needed before interest.
“When someone walks along our waterways and sees people out enjoying the sport, it makes a difference to see people who look like them,”said FCRC’s Community Program Coordinator.
Participants of such events offer representation that they may not realize.
“People of colour seeing other people of colour [rowing] makes a difference,” which is a sentiment that can be shared with other diverse communities.
Through Canucks Autism Network, providing access to folks on the autism spectrum shows other autistic individuals that rowing is available and accessible to them. Athletics for Kids, which helps subsidize fees for athletes ages 12-18, shows families that money doesn’t need to be a barrier to getting their kids in a boat. Once someone knows they have access to an activity such as rowing, their interest may grow. It is with the help of such partnerships that FCRC can reach different communities in Vancouver and prove that rowing is for everybody.
“We are super honoured and proud of these programs we have created and are looking forward to expanding and offering more in the years to come”
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.