You're Invited To Row Your Heart Out For Brain Cancer! 

What started as a 100km erg challenge between Wisconsin and Stanford is now expanding to the top rowing teams at universities across the United States. Sign up your school now for a chance to win major bragging rights and the illustrious Connor Cup. But most importantly, all those involved will be helping raise much-needed funds and awareness for pediatric brain cancer research, the #1 cancer killer of young people in the US.

Connor’s Erg Challenge is a 100km virtual erg event, traditionally done in relay fashion from each school’s own venue. All money raised supports US pediatric brain cancer research. We know the world is a different place and you may not be able to compete all together, so we encourage you to set your own challenge and row your way any day in February.


When is Connor’s Erg?

Teams can take part on any suitable day or time during the week of 8-14 February 2021. Or if this week doesn't work, you can choose another that suits.

Who can participate in Connor’s Erg Challenge?
Any high school, college, university, or club rowing team and its rowers including lightweight, heavyweight, men’s and women’s teams.

I live outside the US, can I still still participate?
Absolutely! The challenge is open to schools and rowing teams globally. If you're outside the US, please email to register your interest

Is there a cost to participating?
No! Just commitment to sharing Connor’s Story and helping fundraise for pediatric brain cancer research. And if you fundraise over $25 you'll receive your very own Connor's Erg singlet! 

Why An Erg Challenge? 
Robert  ‘Connor’ Dawes was born in Wisconsin in 1994.  A child of two countries, Connor spent most of his life living in Australia and loving America. An excellent student, Connor excelled at academics and was accepted into the National Society of High  School  Scholars.  Connor applied to Wisconsin and Stanford Universities and was invited to attend Stanford summer school the day before his brain tumor surgery.

Connor loved to row and at nearly  6’3”, had the raw strength and passion that made him hard to beat.  Coupled with his bright mind, Connor was determined to study and row, until he was robbed of the chance.

During Connor’s treatment,  Craig  Amerkhanian, coach of Stanford rowing, kept in touch with Connor’s mum Liz, offering support during a tough time for the Dawes family. For 16  months Connor’s brilliant mind and strong body gave its all to fight this terrible disease, but on  April  20, 2013, Connor lost his battle.

A matter of days later,  the  Robert  Connor  Dawes Foundation was born. Since then the Dawes family have been on a mission to ensure no family has to endure what theirs did. When  Liz next spoke to Craig, he was determined to support the family and their foundation.  When brainstorming fundraising ideas, they discovered Craig was good friends with Chris  Clarke, coach of rowing at Wisconsin.  Which just so happens to be Connor’s parent’s, Liz and Scott’s, alma mater.

And so,  Connor’s  Erg Challenge was born. 2021 marks the sixth year of the competition, and for the first time ever, we have opened it up to schools from around the world!


*Information taken from Connor's Erg Challenge website

January 21, 2021 — Hannah Abbott

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