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The Sport Information Resource Centre

Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) is pleased to announce the 28 clubs receiving funding for programming through the Community Sport for All initiative.

In July, the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport, announced that RCA is a recipient of $885,000 in funding in 2022-2023 from the Community Sport for All Initiative.

This funding is dedicated to programming designed to remove barriers and increase sport participation for equity-deserving and underrepresented populations. RCA opened applications to member clubs in July for community-level project funding for programs addressing barriers to participation in sport, particularly among Black, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQQIA+, and newcomer populations as well as girls and women.

All of the approved programs have an organized sport active component, are delivered with minimal to no cost to the participants, and are tailored to an equity-deserving group, but not exclusionary. Applicants were strongly encouraged to establish partnerships with local community organizations/groups that are representative of the equity-deserving populations.

Throughout the 2022 season and into 2023, Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club has been holding Come Try and Learn More About Rowing events for girls and women, Black, Indigenous and 2SLGBTQQIA+ participants, and newcomers to Canada.

“The CSAI funding has allowed us to share rowing with so many people in such a short period of time,” said Lisa George, Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club. “Seeing people’s faces light up when they are trying something new, meeting new people, and enjoying the incredible beauty of our lake is immensely rewarding. With a broad range of promotions planned over the winter months, we are excited to be sharing the benefits of our sport with our community next season.”

Ottawa New Edinburgh Club 

Held in partnership with the Ottawa Senior Pride Network, the Ottawa New Edinburgh Club has been delivering programming for 2SLGBTQQIA+ seniors (50+).

“It has been such an incredible journey participating in the Rowing Canada Aviron and Sport Canada Community Sport for All Initiative,” said John Stuart Moore, Ottawa New Edinburgh Club. “Supported by our partner, the Ottawa Senior Pride Network, we have been able to share our passion for the sport of rowing and fitness-for-life philosophy with the Ottawa 2SLGBTQQIA+ community. Through connection and inclusion in rowing we move forward together stronger, happier and healthier.”

St. John’s Rowing Club has developed programming for Indigenous youth and for youth with financial barriers to sport participation. The club also held a workshop for girls and women looking to transition from fixed seat rowing to slide seat rowing. These programs are held in partnership with First Light Friendship Centre, the Royal St. John’s Regatta, Single Parent Association of Newfoundland, and the City of St. John’s Recreation Experiences and Leisure program. 

“The CSAI funding provided the St. John’s Rowing Club with an ability to begin to develop meaningful relationships with new community partners through Learn to Row programming,” said Kristine Power, St. John’s Rowing Club. “We hope these relationships will continue to flourish for years to come as we work to ensure our rowing community is welcoming, inclusive and diverse.”

Partnering with Immigrant and Refugee Services Association PEI, this summer Rowing PEI offered on-water programming to youth and their families, providing newcomers to Canada with an opportunity to participate in rowing and to meet more people within their new community. 

“My favourite moment this summer was watching our Crew 22 juniors competing in the coastal races at the Red Island Regatta at Brudenell. Their families were all on the beach to cheer them on and there was a great sense of community,” said Nancy Russell, Rowing PEI President. “We had newcomers from Ukraine and Mexico take part in our CSAI programming and we can’t wait to welcome even more during our winter training that begins soon.”

The Women on Water program introduces rowing to women and girls who have limited athletic opportunities due to cultural/religious norms, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, income and/or newcomer status. 

“As the numbers grow each week, I love to hear the stories from the people of what brought them to the Women on Water program,” said Rachel Davis, Gorge Narrows Rowing Club Manager and Head Coach. “I’m inspired, leave refreshed and grateful for the opportunity to spend this time with such a rich tapestry of people. The connection between the coaches, volunteers and the community continues to surprise and excite me as I watch this program grow and evolve in ways I could not have predicted.”

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