Fostering Community in the Age of COVID-19

As every rower knows, people are the strongest when they work together, as one. In isolation, it can feel as though we are all alone, without a life vest, trying to tread water in an ocean of uncertainty. Coming together to supply each other support, advice, and expertise is pivotal – especially in communities so reliant on day-to-day operations such as the rowing community.

Now is the time to come together.

The George Pocock Rowing Foundation is working to facilitate cohesiveness in the rowing community and offer a raft to those in the community who feel in danger of sinking. Since mid-March and the unprecedented global COVID-19 outbreak, the foundation has scheduled four boathouse community calls to bring leaders from around the United States (and even internationally) together to discuss issues and potential solutions to problems facing many rowing organizations during this time.

The first three calls, held March 23, April 6, and April 13, covered various topics relating to how to navigate through new and unprecedented problems cropping up due to COVID-19. Each call included a panel representing boathouse leaders from across the US, as well as a presentation of other useful relevant information for boathouses during this time.

The first two community calls featured guest Kevin Alschuler, PhD and associate professor at the University of Washington. During the late March call, Alschuler discussed strategies of how to cope with uncertainty and build resilience through COVID-19. During the second community call, Alschuler discussed personal values in relation to rowing and how to work to continue to fulfill these values in other ways during the pandemic. In the third call, Rachel Le Mieux, CPA, CMI, and Eric Phoun, CPA, answered questions regarding new financial support that is available during COVID-19.

This is an unprecedented situation, there are no answers on how to strike the perfect balance between what is right, what is required, and what we need to do in order to keep ourselves and our organizations afloat. The George Pocock Rowing Foundation aims to create a space for our community to come together, offer discussions, advice, and possibly even solutions to some of the tribulations we all face.

These calls, on top of everything else, are a way to reaffirm the strength of our community. We have all seen a boat catch a crab off the start and come back to win it all. In the same way, our rowing community will work together to stay afloat and in motion. We are, after all, in the same boat.

If you would like to re-watch past calls, they are available on the George Pocock Rowing Foundation website to re-watch at any time.

The next call, taking place this coming Monday, April 27, will focus on planning for re-opening, discussing what that might look like, and hearing from other leaders what they plan currently is. Please join us and RSVP for the call using this link.

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