Following a 12-day voting period on Facebook, USRowing’s America Rows Program was one of six grand prize winners of the inaugural Team USA Grants.
America Rows and the other grand prize winners will receive $12,000 grants, which are intended to assist programs within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family that aim to improve sustained competitive excellence, instill the Olympic Values and grow sport participation in the U.S.
“We are really excited at the response from the community to the Team USA Grants competition,” said USRowing Chief Executive Officer Glenn Merry. “I think it demonstrates that rowing is ready to address and support the issues around inclusion and access to rowing in America. America Rows is an important strategic initiative for our organization.”
America Rows is USRowing’s nationwide diversity and inclusion initiative aimed at increasing awareness of rowing and introducing the sport to a diverse group of Americans. The program hopes to increase the number of Hispanic and Latino Americans, African-Americans and Asian-Americans who participate in rowing, as well as increase the participation of the physically disabled. The Team USA Grant will allow USRowing to provide mini grants to America Rows affiliates across the country.
America Rows was one of two winners in the “Friendship” category. Programs in the “Friendship” category aim to introduce Olympic or Paralympic sports to youth, secure instructors, expand the reach of programs to diverse populations, overcome barriers to sport access, and may include providing equipment, facilities and transportation. Fever on Ice was the other “Friendship” category winner.
“USRowing would like to thank all of its members, clubs, athletes, friends and corporate partners who voted and helped to get the vote out during the contest,” said USRowing Inclusion Manager Richard Butler. “The support of the rowing community made this possible, and the grant will help America Rows change lives.”
Other winners included PossAbilities Paralympic Training Program and USA Triathlon's Veterans to Victors in the “Excellence” category and Legends of the Olympiad presented by Art of the Olympians and the Western Wisconsin Speed Team in the “Respect” category.
"On behalf of the U.S. Olympic Committee, a big thanks goes out to the organizations who applied for Team USA Grants and also to all the people that voted on Facebook. Additionally, congratulations to the winning organizations for their commitment to spreading the Olympic Values of excellence, friendship and respect through this initiative," said USOC Chief Communications Officer Patrick Sandusky.
For more information on USRowing’s America Rows Program, please contact Richard Butler at Richard@usrowing.org or 609-751-6284.
USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing’s official suppliers include Boathouse Sports, Vespoli, Win Tech, Filippi, Croker Oars, Rudy Project, Concept2, Nielsen Kellerman, PowerHTV and Ludus Tours. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors, ANXeBusiness Corp and Voxer. For more information, visit www.usrowing.org. USRowing has created compelling programs to engage sponsors leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games, with proceeds going to help ensure the U.S. team’s success. Opportunities also exist to partner with America Rows – supporting diversity initiatives and adaptive programs. For more information, please contact Beth Kohl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Team USA Grants
As part of its Join Team USA initiative, which provides Americans with opportunities to support and join team USA, the U.S. Olympic Committee created the Team USA Grants to assist organizations within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Family and also provide a platform for fan interaction. To enter, eligible organizations submitted a video clip describing their program, its need for funding and how it met the criteria of the selected Olympic Value category. The top videos were then posted to the US Olympic Team Facebook page for fans to determine six grand prize winners, two from each category. The categories were excellence, friendship and respect. More information, including the Official Contest Rules, can be found at teamusa.org/teamusagrants.