George Pocock Rowing Foundation Programs
Youth Development Initiative – Row to the Future
Row to the Future is a youth development initiative of the George Pocock Rowing Foundation that uses rowing to inspire youth to become healthy and active members of their communities. Through an inclusive and accessible network of programs, youth develop tools for peak performance in school and life:
- Skills for lifelong fitness and improved health;
- Communication, teamwork, and leadership; Connections with caring mentors;
- Inclusion in a college-going culture, and
- Connection to the community and urban environment.
Row to the Future intentionally reaches traditionally underrepresented youth, and provides support to help them excel. Strong relations with partners, including Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Parks and Recreation, help sustain this network.
Row to the Future programs include Erg Ed (indoor rowing in Seattle Public Schools) and Rainier Valley Rowing (a youth program that supports athletic and academic success), which together serve thousands of students each year.
Competitive Training – Pocock Rowing Center and High Performance Team
The GPRF owns and operates the Pocock Rowing Center, Seattle’s premiere rowing and fitness center and a community boathouse for all ages and abilities. In addition to a variety of youth and adult programs, the PRC supports a USRowing Affiliate High Performance Training Center. In the last 13 years, this program has put 30 athletes on the national team, including 8 Olympians.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In the last twelve months the GPRF has provided more than a thousand Seattle students with skills for lifelong fitness and opportunities for community engagement. Students and teachers have enthusiastically welcomed rowing into Seattle Public Schools PE through the new GPRF program Erg Ed.
Students in Erg Ed learn basic rowing skills in the classroom that they can use at boathouses and fitness centers citywide. Students also practice intensity, complete in teams, and engage with community waterways and other resources. Strong support from the GPRF, including teacher training, equipment, technology, and a strong curriculum, ensures every participant has a valuable experience.
By the fall of 2013 Erg Ed will be offered to every 8th grader in Seattle Public Schools – more than 3000 total. This is the first time nationwide that rowing has been introduced across an urban school district by a nonprofit partner.
This nationally recognized success also presents a challenge – scaling the successful Erg Ed pilot to effectively serve 19 schools by the fall of 2013. The GPRF needs to increase programmatic, as well as administrative, infrastructure to support this increase in students served. Programmatic needs include the purchase of additional equipment, resources to transport equipment, and staff time to refine the program model and train teachers. Administrative needs include increased staff time for communications, fundraising, and operations in support of the growing Erg Ed program.