August 05, 2020
The George Pocock Rowing Foundation (GPRF) announced a new fund to promote accessibility and inclusion at rowing programs across the United States. A Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund aims to raise at least $1 million this year (and at least $3 million over three years) to get more kids on the water, fund education, scholarship, and mentorship programs focused on non-traditional rowing communities and communities of color where youth face barriers to participation in the sport. Initial contributions, financial commitments, and in-kind offerings from prominent companies in the rowing community already have the Fund well on its way to its first $1,000,000 raised in this important effort.
Would you like to help transform the lives of more young athletes? By donating to A Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund, your contribution assists the GPRF youth development initiative, changing lives through the sport of rowing.
Partnership with Arshay Cooper and A Most Beautiful Thing
The film is narrated by Grammy and Oscar-winning artist Common, executive produced by NBA Hall of Famer Grant Hill, NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade, and Grammy-winning producer 9th Wonder, and directed by award-winning filmmaker and Olympic rower, Mary Mazzio.
Inclusion Fund Overview
● Educate athletes, coaches, and boathouse leaders across the country on the importance of accessibility and inclusion within the sport.
● Raise awareness around rowing and the opportunities it affords student-athletes, particularly traditionally underserved and minority communities.
● Fund need-based scholarships and other services to remove barriers such as team fees, equipment, transportation, language barriers, and after-school support.
● Report demographic data on the fund’s programs and participating boathouse to benchmark, track progress, and ensure effectiveness over time.
By working with school districts across the country through programs such as ErgEd, the GPRF introduced over 25,000 new youth to rowing in 2019. Despite much success, the GPRF also acknowledges that it has not done nearly enough to encourage participation from more diverse and underserved communities.
The Fund is coordinating its activities with the National Rowing Foundation and USRowing to ensure that the entire rowing community is coming together, inspired by Arshay’s story, to expand access to the sport. The GPRF has also partnered with US National Team and current Olympic coach, Mike Teti, to help develop programs that not only make the sport more accessible but help youth realize the opportunities rowing can create later in life. Teti will work with a team of rowing ambassadors, including collegiate and Olympic athletes, through volunteering, coaching, and leadership at rowing programs across the country.
References1. George Pocock Rowing Foundation launches A Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund. George Pocock Rowing Foundation Website. Available at: https://www.pocockfoundation.org/post/george-pocock-rowing-foundation-launches-a-a-most-beautiful-thing-inclusion-fund. Accessed August 2020.
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