The academic and financial rewards of rowing

IThree Rivers Rowing Associationf you are a girl in high school and want another college scholarship option, consider the sport of rowing. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has made women's rowing, along with scholarships and program funding a priority. Here is what you need to know.
 
On September 14, 2011 the Three Rivers Rowing Association in Washington's Landing, Pittsburgh, will host their 6th annual College Recruiting Night. Executive Director Rick Brown, who first arranged this annual event 6 years ago, says "Our College Recruiting Night is a great opportunity for colleges to meet our athletes, as well as, provide our athletes an opportunity to learn more about the colleges' programs and scholarship opportunities."
 
College scholarships for rowing? Yes, says Brown, who has watched the sport of rowing blossom over the last 10-15  years. In fact, for student athletes who are also pursuing a college education, rowing has provided a tremendous opportunity to both participate in competitive sports and pay for college.
 
Why rowing has gained popularity.
Why has rowing gained such popularity over the last 2 decades? Gregory Butera writing in the 1997 American Rower's Almanac offered these suggestions: the basics are easy to pick up, rowing crews can accommodate many athletes, there are plenty of opportunities for women to compete, and the sport of rowing can be for all ages and athletic abilities. Another reason rowing has gained popularity is the fact it has provided many scholarship opportunities for females; options that didn't exist in the past.
 
Scholarships for women athletes.
Title IX was enacted by Congress in 1972 with an intent to create equality between males and females within the realm of academics. However, one may argue that its greatest impact has been on high school and collegiate sports. In order to comply with the commonly accepted interpretations of Title IX, many colleges have actively promoted rowing as a way of balancing the availability of athletic scholarships to women. Butera wrote, "These equity rules require a balance in number of opportunities for male and female athletes in financial support of sports programs. The NCAA has made only women's crew, an intercollegiate sport complete with scholarships and funding." For example, women are generally not going to try out for or compete on a college football team. That means there is one less opportunity for them to receive an athletic scholarship. Rowing scholarships for females provide balance.
 
At Three Rivers Rowing Association, Brown says that College Recruiting Night also creates an awareness about scholarship opportunities among student athletes that may not have fully understood how they work. In his experience parents of rowers seem to be more aware of the scholarships than the students. At this event students and their parents talk directly to college representatives about their specific questions.
 
Three Rivers Rowing AssociationHow to get involved.
New seasons for rowing begin in the fall with the start of school and there are programs for all ages. At Three Rivers Rowing Association, the Junior Rowing program, for example, offers 13-18 year olds the change to participate in a competitive sport within the supportive environment of a nationally recognized rowing club.
 
How do students earn scholarships?
Scholarship awards are performance based. As with all team sports, team results factor into a recruiting college's criteria. Additionally, there are individual tests that are completed on ergometer rowing machines, which provide a good indication of an individual's overall rowing fitness.
 
Make no mistake. Rowing is a highly competitive sport and student athletes are expected to follow a practice schedule. Three Rivers Rowing Association says, "Rowers will be grouped together according to skill level and coached accordingly. Rowers will earn seats in racing boats. Priority is to field the fastest boats possible in all categories." Whether working toward scholarship offers, fitness goals, or winning races, rowing typically requires up to 5 days of practice for 2-3 hour sessions each.
 
The Three Rivers Rowing Association has a great relationship with many college coaches; many of whom will travel to the Association's location in order to participate in practices of the U.S. Rowing Junior National Development Team. The involvement of these coaches further enhances the access student athletes at the club will have to programs that provide scholarships.
 
The Three Rivers Rowing Association's Executive Director also notes that rowing looks good on any college application as an extracurricular activity. For students competing for a spot in their college of choice, their success in rowing makes them a more attractive candidate. Their involvement in the sport demonstrates highly prized work traits colleges are eager to see in their freshmen.
 
About Three Rivers Rowing Association.
Three Rivers Rowing Association was founded in 1984 and was named the 2010 USRowing Club of the Year, chosen out of 1,100 USRowing member organizations. You can learn more about their club at threeriversrowing.org.
 
More info on College Recruiting Night.
For: High School Seniors with Rowing Experience, (only seniors will be allowed to attend because of recruiting rules)

Parents (of seniors) and High School Coaches Welcome!
 
When: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
 
Where: Three Rivers Rowing Association, Lambert Boathouse at Washington's Landing
College Recruiting Night

Resources
Three Rivers Rowing Association
NCAA Rowing
Title IX
Rowing Scholarships 

 

 
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