This year, 25 Sierra Vista youths will have the chance to learn rowing and swimming skills thanks to a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club. This special opportunity, dubbed Row & Rise Together, will bring the full-body, low-impact sport to youth in the public housing complex, with assistance from Delta Sculling Center. The comprehensive program will incorporate the sport of rowing into the Club’s traditional health and wellness programs and can be done safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boys & Girls Club staff will work with Sierra Vista youth on how to enjoy the benefits of exercising and competing on land rowing machines (ergometers). They are being trained by Youth Development Coach Jane McClellan of Delta Sculling Center. DSC will also provide opportunities for participants to test out their rowing skills on the water in sculling boats. In addition to the physical skills they’ll gain, participants will learn critical life skills such as discipline, cooperation, and goal setting. As Coach Jane said, “We’re excited to give more young people in our community the chance to try a new sport that can give them opportunities for fitness, competition, and fun throughout their lives.” She added, “We are also excited to partner with the staff of the Boys & Girls Club and help support their mission of enabling youth to reach their full potential. We believe the skills learned from rowing and the community it builds will help do that.”

Pat Tirone, DSC’s Executive Director, asserted, “Everybody, including those who don’t excel at traditional sports and those with special needs, can engage in our sport. And doors can open for college scholarships more easily through rowing than other sports.” She continued, “One of Stockton’s gems is the Delta, and many don’t get to enjoy it or even know about it, but this program will help reverse that.”

Row & Rise Together has been made possible by a grant from Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center and Behavioral Health Center 2021 Community Grants Program. The grant will support the Boys & Girls Club for Row & Rise Together until December 31, 2021.

Bob Oprandy, an Asst. Coach at DSC said, “We are thrilled to spread the joy of rowing to those who are usually overlooked when it comes to this sport, one that uses 86% of the body’s muscles, more than any other sport. Rowing is a strong tonic against obesity, pandemic isolation, and the stress from trauma caused by adverse childhood experiences.”

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