Service is a top priority in our mission and we are constantly identifying new opportunities to share the sport of rowing with communities inside central Texas. Currently, we work with veterans, breast-cancer survivors, at-risk youth, economically disadvantaged youth, senior citizens, Paralympic athletes and mentally challenged adults. Our staff and volunteers work to create new programming that provides everything from curriculum development for middle school students to team building exercises for nonprofits and fundraising for new adaptive rowing equipment. We work with partners to offer in-kind services as well such as discounted event rental space, food and beverage donations or free equipment rental.
RISE: Rowing In School Experience (RISE) is an in-school program that provides a 12-week indoor rowing curriculum paired with a field trip to Austin Rowing Club that features STEM based activities. Our curriculum is modeled upon a successful program at Community Rowing Institute in Boston. Staff at participating schools receive in-person training sessions as well as virtual support throughout the course. After our initial successful pilot at Burnet Middle School in 2016 (serving over 600 students), AISD has made Austin Rowing Club an official partner throughout the district which allows us to deliver RISE to any middle school inside AISD. This year we are looking forward to expanding our program to a second middle school.
ROSE: Rowing Outside of School Experience (ROSE) are rowing programs we host three times per week for students to learn about rowing, kayaking, water safety and team building. Youth who participate in the program are economically disadvantaged, around 20% are English language learners and 90% are eligible for free/reduced priced lunch at their middle schools. Participants live in areas of Austin where the household incomes are at least 50% below the federal poverty level. Partners who participate in ROSE include Comacho Activity Center, Austin Sunshine Camps and McBeth Recreational Center. Students who are interested in competing on ARC’s junior team are invited to apply for scholarships. In 2016, ARC served 1,039 youth through ROSE.
Freedom Rows: Military veterans who wish to train for rowing are offered scholarship and free coaching sessions through the Freedom Rows program. Austin Rowing Club staff and club volunteers travel to sites in Temple and San Antonio to teach appropriate indoor rowing techniques and best practices. Freedom Rows participants are offered scholarships to become members at ARC where they can enhance their training on the water. Additionally, we support indoor rowing competitions and ensure adaptive rowing events within our regattas.
Project Engage: Project Engage aims to reduce the number of revocations, convictions and jail sentence by providing teenage offenders additional support of regular judicial oversight within a probation term. Austin Rowing Club is a partner for community service and engagement, allowing teens to volunteer and get back on track through Project Engage.
St. Edward’s Rowing Club: St. Edward’s University Rowing Club began in 2006 and competes nationally against other collegiate clubs such as Baylor University, Vanderbilt University, Louisiana State University and The University of Texas at Austin among others. As part of ARC’s mission, we offer the usage of equipment and coaching to St. Edward’s University Rowing Club at cost. Any additional funds raised by SEU’s Rowing Club goes into a scholarship fund to ensure any student who attends St. Edward’s University has an opportunity to row for the team.
Pulling for Pink and Team Survivor: Pulling for Pink is an initiative held during our Fall Regatta, The PumpkinHead, to fundraise for the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Texas (www.bcrc.org). Funds raised help the BCRC provide FREE services to over 2500 Central Texas Families who have been impacted by a breast cancer diagnosis.
Senior Outings: In partnership with the Lamar Activity Center, Austin Rowing Club hosts senior outings to the boathouse which allow for on-water exploration and guided trail walks.
Nonprofit Team Building: As a nonprofit, we know the struggle to find affordable creative space for meetings and team building activities that can enhance the work and outcomes of local nonprofits. Austin Rowing Club offers free meeting space rental once per quarter to local nonprofits as well as discounted team building exercises.