PNRA founded Rowing Is Growing in 2008 with a grant from US Rowing and the US Olympic Committee.  Through Rowing Is Growing, PNRA invites youth from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Mercer County to participate in rowing with peers and coaches who will challenge their life expectations and goals.

Since 2008, hundreds of students have been touched by our community outreach programs as well as events held with Olympic rowers who train at the Caspersen Rowing Center and rowers from Princeton University.   We have also worked with more than 50 student-athletes from the  Trenton community who joined the Mercer Junior Rowing Program (MJRC).

Getting students to join Mercer Junior Rowing Program is an important goal of Rowing Is Growing. We want to integrate economically-disadvantaged high school students into the on-the-water rowing program at the Caspersen Rowing Center. We also want to support their academic growth and offer critical thinking and problem solving STEM activities.

To accomplish these goals, there are three main hurdles: the students’ lack of knowledge of the rowing opportunities; the lack of comfort around water and basic swimming skills; and lack of transportation to the Caspersen Rowing Center.

To address the first of these challenges, we have worked with teachers in specific schools in the Trenton area to introduce rowing as a part of the physical education classes in the schools.  PNRA placed Concept 2 ergometers in  the high schools in Trenton, developed a curriculum and worked with the P.E. instructors to introduce rowing.   Our goal is to both enhance the fitness of the students and get kids interested in our on the water rowing program.

To address the swimming, PNRA is working with the Hamilton YMCA, Capital Area YMCA and the Mercer County Park Commission to establish programs to teach water skills to students including the Swim to Row Program.  PNRA has also worked with the school swim coaches to develop swimming skills.

The final and largest challenge for ROWING IS GROWING is the transportation of the Trenton students to Mercer Lake.  Their families are unable to get them to practice and public transportation is unavailable.

We are seeking corporate and foundation support for Rowing Is Growing!  Please consider partnering with us to offer these young people the unique chance to row and the benefits of becoming part of a fun, challenging community which will broaden their horizons!

For more information about this opportunity, please contact Kris Grudt, Executive Director (kgrudt@rowPNRA.org).


Special thanks to our donors:

Munich Re

New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance

Boston Properties