BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A rowing club in Baltimore has been selected to receive a grant to help student-athletes of color get involved in the sport.

 Rowing has typically been a very white, prep school sport,” said Karyn Shackelford, the executive director of the club, Baltimore Community Rowing. “It is something that has not really reflected a lot of the communities in which boathouses reside.” 
The club is receiving $24,000 and new rowing equipment from the A Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fundinspired by the book and movie A Most Beautiful Thing, which tells the story of America’s first allblack high school rowing team in Chicago. 
“The Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund is a organization that focuses on giving access and opportunity to young kids in underserved communities through the sport of rowing,” said Arshay Cooper, who wrote the book and serves as the Inclusion Director for the grant program.
The funding will pay for coaches of color, transportation, swimming lessons, academic services and competition for students.

The rowing racing shell manufacturer Hudson Boat Works and rowing machine company Concept2 are proving two boats, oars and 10 ergometers to the Baltimore rowing club for its middle and high school program. 

“Getting these boats really widens how many people we can take in and how many people we can teach to row,” said Jaiden Gomez, a coach for the program. 

Cooper told WJZ that rowing can help students who come from underserved communities grow, be successful and even heal. 

It reduces trauma right that you may see every day in your life. The peace that you feel on the water it calms the storms that you go through,” he said. “The lessons you learn from the sport completely change your life.” 

If you or your child are interested in getting involved in rowing at Baltimore Community Rowing, visit baltimorerowing.org. 

Stetson Miller