Updated: Mar 5
The best thing about the rowing community is our ability to come together and support each other.
In the spirit of support, we invite you, our entire rowing community near and far, to the 13th annual Row to the Future Breakfast. This event has historically been a celebration of our amazing rowing community and the athletes served through our programs at the George Pocock Rowing Foundation (GPRF).
The GPRF believes in the transformative power of rowing. We work to increase access and break down barriers to the sport. We do this in the form of need-based scholarships, coaching, uniforms and transportation - whatever a kid needs to have an opportunity to row.
Like many organizations, Covid-19 directly impacted our community and rowing programs around the nation, leaving many youth athletes without a boathouse or program to participate in. Attending this year’s Row to the Future Breakfast means that the GPRF can continue to provide athlete support to kids who need it most. And as rowers return to the water, or to their club programs, they need the GPRF now more than ever for that transformative experience.
Despite the struggles this year, the GPRF is still very proud of some 2020 accomplishments:
Grants: We gave out $40,000 of financial support to rowing organizations in the Pacific North West to keep them afloat and thrive through our Perkin Grant. Learn more about this here.
Scholarships and Student Services: We supported new kids from all over the region with scholarships to row as their families have been facing new financial hardships, many for the very first time. We all know just how hard it is to ask for help, especially in providing important activities for our children that keep them happy, healthy and safe. We are proud to have remained committed to these families and their children by giving them community through scholarships and helping with transportation needs- despite the increased demand and cost of doing it on an individual basis. Learn more about Covid-19’s impact on youth recreation.
Community Boathouses: In addition to financial resources, the GPRF's community boathouse, the Pocock Rowing Center maxed out its capacity in order to keep kids from Mt. Baker and Green Lake rowing (forced to close due to covid). And through working with the City of Kenmore, the Kenmore School District and the Kenmore Rowing Club, the GPRF launched a rowing community and built a boathouse. With the boathouse now off the ground and nearly open to the public, our goal is to continue to support them in creating a robust, welcoming and kid focused program going forward.
Erg Ed: In 2010 Erg Ed was officially launched, initially serving just 1,074 students. Before Covid-19, nearly 40,000 students were participating annually in our Erg Ed program. This year, we also launched a virtual teacher training for new and existing program sites so that more teachers can teach Erg Ed; 36 more certified teachers to be exact! Despite Covid, we still generated over 80 interested Erg Ed sites in 2020, with 20 applications and were able to award two grant recipients, so they could successfully launch programs in Edmonds and Tulsa. The GPRF is now working to find more ways to make Erg Ed sustainable and scalable with new partners so that we are well on our way to our goal of reaching 100,000 students by the 2028 LA Olympic Games.
A Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund: In collaboration with Arshay Cooper, we launched the AMBT Inclusion Fund to spread rowing to youth in underserved communities. The fund supports education, scholarship and mentorship programs to get more kids rowing on the water, focusing on non-traditional communities and communities of color where youth face barriers to participation in the sport.
This year’s Row to the Future breakfast event promises a few new exciting highlights:
Interactive experience with goody bag items throughout the event
Rowing videos and speeches outlining the past, present and future!
A chance to connect with other your table mates for lively discussions
While athlete support, Erg Ed and the AMBT fund will continue as staples of the GPRF's regional and national impact, we’re launching three new programs in 2021 and we can't wait to reveal these new efforts at our RttF breakfast. Once you hear about them, we look forward to learning more about what aspects excite you or intrigue you. We hope you'll join us in growing and diversifying this sport that has changed our lives.
Wondering what the Row to the Future Benefit Breakfast is all about? It's about the kids who need us most. Watch this video to see what happens when young people have the chance to row.