New Fund Will Make Grants of $5000-20000 to Up to Eight Programs
Two iconic American rowing institutions today announced that they will partner to create a new fund that will provide financial and programmatic support to emerging and under-resourced rowing programs throughout the United States, as part of a new commitment to create more inclusivity and diversity within the sport of rowing.
Applications to the fund can begin immediately and will be accepted until Aug. 15. Grant recipients will be announced by Sept. 15.
The Head of the Charles Regatta of Boston and the Gold Cup of Philadelphia will join forces to provide $100,000 in seed capital to launch the Head of the Charles/Gold Cup Fund that will make annual grants to rowing programs that serve under-resourced youth and communities throughout the US. The fund also will provide in-kind equipment and mentoring services that will allow the programs to field competitive teams of 19-and-under youth.
In addition, the new fund will immediately launch a nationwide fundraising campaign to encourage contributions to the fund as it creates an endowment for ongoing annual grantmaking.
"It is long past time for the sport of rowing to honestly confront its lack of diversity and implement concrete actions to attract, mentor and retain a diverse set of athletes, coaches and supporters," said Blair Crawford, chair of the board of the Head of the Charles Regatta. "As a highly visible leader in the sport, the Head of the Charles Regatta must do better. Establishing this fund is just the beginning phase of our intentional and sustained commitment to supporting greater equity in rowing."
Since its beginning, the sport of rowing has primarily been made up of white athletes and has been seen as posing significant barriers to entry in terms of access to boathouses, boats and other equipment, and training and coaching opportunities. While there has been a growth in the number of rowing outreach programs for youth from economically disadvantaged communities in recent years, many of them continue to be significantly under resourced and lacking in ongoing financial and community support. "The Head of the Charles/Gold Cup Fund is designed to provide capital, equipment and opportunities to this new ecosystem of rowing programs and help position them for continuing success in their efforts to field competitive teams made up of promising young athletes," said William McNabb, one of the founders of The Gold Cup regatta of Philadelphia. "One of the particularly important elements of our fund is its commitment to provide year-long mentors from the rowing community and access to ongoing connections."
The new fund will be overseen by a diverse board made up representatives of the two organizations, along with civic leaders from the two host cities, as well as members of the business and sports communities.
The new entity envisions making annual grants of $5,000 to $20,000 to a maximum of eight rowing programs that will be selected each year as part of a competitive application process by a Grant Review Committee. The committee will be primarily comprised of rowers of color from throughout the United States. In addition to choosing the grantees, the committee members will serve as mentors to each of the programs throughout the year. Olympic and world-class rowers from throughout the world also will serve as mentors to the chosen programs.
In order to be eligible for funding, rowing programs need to be committed to fielding competitive racing teams for youth 19 and under who come from under-resourced communities and may be unable to access a range of supports and services. The programs need to be committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in all of their efforts, as well as following USRowing Safe Sport standards.
More information about the Head of the Charles/Gold Cup Fund application process and eligibility criteria, along with a PDF of the application itself can be found on the Head of the Charles Regatta (www.hocr.org) and The Gold Cup (www.thegoldcup.org) websites. Any questions about the fund should be directed to GoldCupHOCRgrant@gmail.com.