A Bid to Row at USRowing National Championships

Introducing 2x partners Cayce/Scout and John/Sobie:

Cayce, Scout, John & Sobie representing Coventry Lake Community Rowing, participated in the Mixed Youth PR3 2x event at the USRowing  Northeast Youth Championships on May 18. They travelled to Lowell MA with our 4 other entries who also had high hopes to advance. Of those 6 boats, 3 advanced (one to semi-finals) and these two boats successfully moved on to the finals which were held on May 19.. The conditions were significantly difficult, challenging even the most experienced rowers spanning 61 different events ( 487 boat entries) – never mind for an adaptive entry. Both boats were required to attach to a stake boat anchored in the river to successfully compete at this level during this race. In the end, proudly, both boats did complete the race course, but only one Sobie and John were able to meet the requirements to bring home gold. This achievement earned them a bid to compete on the national stage in Sarasota Florida this coming June 6-9th.

Meet Our Athletes

In the summer of 2023, twin sisters Scout and Sobie from Bolton joined CLCR, seeking a physical outlet that could accommodate their tenacity and visual impairments (both are legally blind). Their determination and rapid progress were evident from the start. By the fall competitive season, their parents requested that they join the team, aligning perfectly with CLCR’s mission and vision. They officially joined the competitive team in the fall of 2023. During their first race, Sobie and Scout, supported by two dedicated coaches, successfully competed at the Paper City Regatta in Holyoke, MA. By spring, USRowing introduced youth para event qualifiers at the regional level, allowing Sobie and Scout to compete with their peers. Sobie was paired with John, and Scout with Cayce, and both pairs advanced to the finals at the USRowing Northeast Youth Championships.

Cayce, an exceptional student from our home base of Coventry, joined Coventry High School Crew Club in his freshman year after trying it out at a learn-to-row event. He has been a dedicated team player ever since and is now in his sophomore year. This spring, Cayce partnered with Scout, embarking on the journey of learning how to row and sync with Scout using a variety of verbal commands to master the art of rowing together without relying on sight. Through patience and development, Cayce and Scout advanced to the finals, and we look forward to seeing their continued success next year as they continue to master the challenges of rowing together and overcoming the barriers of rowing together in balance and synchronicity through verbal communication to overcome Scout’s blindness.

John, who recently celebrated his 16th birthday, gave CLCR a chance during his middle school years after learning of the program through his mom, a Coventry teacher.  In his freshman year, he chose to commit to the sport.  As a novice, John was willing to try all positions, including coxswain, when needed. He is dedicated to perfecting his rowing technique and understanding the physics behind it, and he knows how to be a team player. John’s commitment to his teammates is evident in his patience and encouragement as they strive for excellence together. In the spring of 2024, Sobie and John were paired. Their unparalleled enthusiasm and determination helped them quickly learn techniques to overcome visual impairment challenges, mastering the difficulty of rowing as a pair and affording them the freedom to fly.

Congratulations to Sobie and John – going to Sarasota FL!

While our boat is ready to make the journey to Florida, John and Sobie need assistance covering their travel and participation expenses. We are launching a fundraising campaign to ensure these dedicated rowers can compete and showcase their talents at this prestigious event. We are reaching out to the community, friends, family, and rowing enthusiasts to support John and Sobie’s journey to the national championships. Donations will go towards travel, accommodation, and competition fees, enabling these talented athletes to compete at the highest level. Every contribution, no matter the size, brings them closer to their goal. https://gofund.me/c0020203 We appreciate any efforts to get the word out!

We are incredibly proud of our entire youth team and the exceptional work they have done this season (all 19 athletes). It takes a team to help these four to meet challenges that are hard for any youth, never mind those with disabilities and in their sophomore year. I am so proud of Cayce, Scout,  John and Sobie’s and the whole team’s achievements and are excited to see two of them advance and compete at the national level representing Coventry and CLCR which is celebrating its 10th year. Their hard work and dedication to each other and this sport is truly inspiring.