When I started rowing in the ’70s, betting your shirt was a tradition for the men’s programs. If you lost your race, you handed the tank or shirt that you were wearing (the uniform back then!) to your counterpart in the winning crew. It was common at the end of a regatta to see guys with armfuls of spoil, and many more washing boats sans shirts. Women’s crews decided to trade instead of bet--teams tried to design a shirt that other programs would covet.
What Arshay and leaders like him recognize is that boats also offer refuge and opportunity. He points out that the most dangerous hours for inner city kids fall between the final school bell and when their parents get home from work. Provide access to rowing—with the contagious positives that passionate coaches, teammates, physical expression bring.