By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – OKC RIVERSPORT is inviting high school and middle school students to try rowing with their Junior Crew free for one week. No experience necessary.
OKC RIVERSPORT Junior Crew offers competitive rowing for kids grades 8 to 12 from all backgrounds and all levels of athletic ability.
Head Coach Dinah Harjo and OKC RIVERSPORT Men’s Varsity Coach Matt Oclander are offering one week free to any new rower.
“All athletes are welcome,” said Harjo. Harjo herself rowed for Oklahoma City University. “The whole point is to give kids an opportunity to try rowing.”
“Beyond rowing, OKC RIVERSPORT juniors have the opportunity to stretch the bounds of their local high school,” added Harjo. “Rowing in San Diego, seeing Boston at the Head of the Charles race, racing at the Head of the Hooch in Tennessee – it shows them where their dreams, their talent and their hard work can take them.”
Those interested in joining the Junior Crew can try it out for the first week with no obligation.
OKC RIVERSPORT Junior Crew offers more than $30,000 in scholarships every year to help students cover the costs of rowing fees and travel expenses.
Harjo states that the opportunity for growth for OKC RIVERSPORT Junior Crew athletes does not end with high school. Over the past 12 years, Oklahoma City’s junior rowers have earned more than $8 million in collegiate scholarships.
Alumnae are currently rowing at some of the top universities in the country, including the U.S. Naval Academy, Clemson, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Cornell, as well as the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University.
Practice begins August 19 and is Monday through Friday 4 – 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 – 11:30 a.m. Students trying out are not required to attend practice every day.
Week-long day camps are also available at the Boathouse District. all summer. For grades 6-12 OKC RIVERSPORT offers both half-day and full-day rowing camps. Full-day camps include a half-day of RIVERSPORT Adventures. Half Day camps cost $175 per week. Full Day camps are available for $300 per week
Junior rowers practice in both sweep (rowing with one oar) and sculling (two oars) boats. Practice times are the same year-round and vary by desired training level. Most novice athletes attend 4-6 practices while varsity athletes typically attend 5-6 practices per week.