The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation has awarded the West Side Rowing Club with a $350,000 grant to help increase diversity and youth participation. The grant will be used over the next three years, according to a press release I received. The grant will help to reduce the barriers to participation in the activities that the West Side Rowing Club offers, like transportation or the cost of the membership. The Club will utilize the grant to reach out to communities that have not traditionally been involved in rowing.

West Side Rowing Club President, Kirk Dorn, said that they hope to make the Club more inclusive with the help of the grant,

“The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation’s grant enables the West Side Rowing Club to expand our community outreach to the youth of Western New York. The sport of rowing builds lifelong habits that positively impact communities. We thank the Foundation for its support of West Side’s mission to make our youth programs more accessible and inclusive."

The Club offers a variety of programs including a summer learn-to-row camp, which teaches Buffalo-area youth ages 10 to 16-years-old the basics of rowing. The Club is also offering three one-week all-day sessions for campers. It will give them an opportunity to learn rowing and team-building.

Jim Boyle, Vice President of Programs and Communications at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation said,

“Sports sampling is such an important part of keeping youth active and engaged, and the West Side Rowing Club is doing this by meeting kids where they are. We’re excited to support WSRC in this work of bringing rowing to Buffalo’s youth and communities.”

You can get more information about the West Side Rowing Club and its youth programs by visiting its website.

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