ROCKLAND ADAPTIVE ROWING PROGRAM EXPANDS IN 2019
Senator David Carlucci attends the dedication ceremony for the new rowing barge in June 2018, along with major donors and adaptive rowers.
STORY BY GRETA NETTLETON PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY ADAPTIVE ROWING
Do you have a friend or family member who is looking for a new adaptive sport? Rockland Rowing Association might be exactly what you need. Through the sport of rowing, people of all abilities become athletes, develop confidence, and enjoy the benefits of working together in a community that supports a healthy lifestyle. Best of all, they really know how to have fun. When rowers and volunteers push away from the dock and get out on the water in the new barge together, the feeling of freedom, camaraderie, and the beauty of nature is absolutely wonderful. It’s like taking an adventure vacation every time. From May through October, Rockland Rowing Association has adaptive practices four times a week at Rockland Lake State Park for 24 cognitively and physically disabled rowers. Coach Greta
Nettleton and Assistant Coach Diana Costanzo run the program with the help of 35 volunteers. Rockland Rowing Association works with adaptive athletes using specialized equipment designed to meet the needs of adaptive rowers. Last year, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation awarded the program $11,755, which helped purchase a safe and stable 8-person rowing barge and a fixed-seat single scull with pontoons, for use by rowers with spinal cord injury. Other major donors for the barge were Orange and Rockland, Suez and Crestron.
Physically disabled rowers compete in adaptive regattas each year. In 2018, three athletes returned from the Head of the Riverfront regatta in Hartford, CT with a gold won by Ron Gold (spinal cord injury), a gold won by David Streich (leg amputee) and Sheila Savage won a silver (Polymyositis). In 2017, five rowers from Rockland Rowing Association competed in Philadelphia at the Bayada Regatta, America’s largest all-adaptive rowing competition. The team earned five medals: two golds, two silvers and a bronze, won by Caren Landis, Ron Gold, Dominic Romano, Jim Daine, and Janet Gonzalez.
Rockland Rowing Association’s new Swift single shell with pontoons.
Rivertown Magazine, April 2019