Newburgh, NY – on January 8, 2014, the Newburgh Rowing Club’s scholarship-based inclusion rowing program, the “Student Ambassador Program,” officially became a USRowing “America Rows” Affiliate program, said Juliana LoBiondo, Team Mom for the Newburgh Rowing Club and Director of the Student Ambassador Program, which will now be known as “America Rows Newburgh.”
“America Rows” was launched by USRowing in 2010. USRowing is the national governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States, serving to promote the sport on all levels of competition, including the selection and training of those who represent the United States at the international level. “ ‘America Rows’ is a nationwide diversity and inclusion initiative, aimed at increasing awareness of rowing and introducing the sport to a diverse group of Americans. ‘America Rows’ provides support, both organizationally and financially, to existing and planned programs across the country,” said Richard Butler, USRowing Inclusion Manager.
“We are delighted to receive this recognition and support from America Rows,” said Coach Ed Kennedy, Programs Director of the Newburgh Rowing Club. “We have been working to make Newburgh Rowing as inclusive as possible since its inception 22 years ago. To have this affiliation with USRowing’s ‘America Rows’ program is just tremendous.”
America Rows Newburgh joins the company of approximately 35 other rowing clubs in the nation, a number which will be expanding over time, said Mr. Butler.
One of the things that makes the America Rows Newburgh program unique is the fact that the Program gets kids in the Pool and teaches water confidence, said LoBiondo.
“This affiliation with America Rows is nothing short of a dream come true,” said Team Mom LoBiondo. “The Student Ambassador Program has been made possible by continued grants from the Hudson River Improvement Fund. Through the receipt of grants, we have been able to offer membership in the Newburgh Rowing Club, and participation in training and competitions, free of charge to our Student Ambassadors.”
“We basically now have the support of the national governing body of rowing for our kids,” said LoBiondo. “This means financial support, such as waiver of fees for USRowing membership and national meet entry fees for our Student Ambassadors. We also can say we are part of a national organization, and a community of inclusion. In the bigger picture, we now have boundless opportunities for our Student Ambassadors. For instance, there will be an America Rows Regatta this spring, which “America Rows Newburgh” has been invited to. Our Student Ambassadors will be able to compete in this Regatta and, instead of being the only Mexican-American rowers, or among the few African-American rowers, we will be surrounded by a completely diverse group of youth rowers. This is an incredible culmination of three years of hard work for me and 22 years of hard work for Coach Kennedy, and we are only going to build on it from here. Look for ‘America Rows Newburgh’ rowers to make some special headlines in the years to come.”
“Boathouses across America continue to be affluent, upper middle class and white,” said Mr. Butler. “If we want the United States to be more competitive on the world stage, we are going to need to do what many major American corporations figured out 20 years ago – become more diverse and inclusive. We welcome America Rows Newburgh to the program.”
For more information about America Rows Newburgh, contact Coach Ed Kennedy at (845) 541-2313 or America Rows Newburgh Director Juliana LoBiondo at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website, www.newburghrowclub.org.