Caspersen Center Dedication
The Princeton International Regatta Association (PIRA) held a ribbon cutting ceremony today to celebrate the completion of the new Mercer Lake Boathouse addition. PIRA also welcomed a representative from the United States Olympic Committee to designate the facility as an Official Olympic Training Site for the upcoming summer Olympic Games.
The boathouse, built in 1998 as a joint venture between the Peddie and the Lawrenceville Schools was dedicated and renamed the Finn M. W., Caspersen Rowing Center after Finn Caspersen, Chairman of the Princeton International Regatta Association. The site will provide USRowing, the US National Team, the Mercer Junior Rowing Club, and PIRA with a fully functional world-class National and Olympic facility for training, racing, camps/clinics and administration. Rowing teams from local schools including the Hun School, the Lawrenceville School, the Peddie School and students from Mercer County High Schools will also utilize the facility. The expanded facility includes the addition of 2,000 square feet of office space, a three-story finish line tower, and three boat bays for a total of six.
Dr. Peter Davis, Director of Sports Science and Coaching of the United States Olympic Committee, designated the center as an Official Olympic Training Site for rowing for the 2004 and 2008 summer Olympic Games in Athens and Beijing. Peter Davis presented PIRA with an Olympic Flag and contract allowing the rowing center to use the Olympic marks.
"We are thrilled with the new center and look forward to increasing the sport's visibility with this world-class venue," said Finn M. W. Caspersen, PIRA Chairman. "This facility gives New Jersey an officially sanctioned Olympic site and will attract athletes from all over the country. Equally important, it allows Mercer County students to rub shoulders on a daily basis with Olympians."
West Windsor Mayor, Shing-Fu Hsueh, Mercer County Executive Robert Prunetti and other officials were in attendance to celebrate the event.
Princeton International Regatta Association is a not-for-profit organization created in 2001 to increase the visibility of the sport of rowing. It is the mission of PIRA to support the training of our nation's competitive rowing teams and to promote U.S. and international competition. PIRA has dedicated itself to exposing young people to the lessons, opportunities and pleasures of rowing. In an effort to further its mission, PIRA is developing an education program of clinics, camps, and one-on-one mentoring by U.S. team coaches and athletes. For more information please contact 609-658-8239 or visit www.princetonregatta.org.