New Haven Students Benefit from Rowing Program

The Canal Dock Boathouse Inc. is bringing the sport of rowing, and all the physical and mental discipline that goes with it, to high school students in New Haven.

These indoor rowing machines help New Haven youth develop the strength and stamina needed to row as part of an eight-person crew. With the help of a Year Round Small Grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Canal Dock Boathouse Inc. will provide the opportunity for students to test their skills out on the water.
A mention of the sport of rowing may elicit thoughts of boats parting the waters of the Charles River in Boston, or perhaps visions of the English elite rowing on the River Thames. Traditionally, however, New Haven is not what comes to mind. The Canal Dock Boathouse Inc. (CDBI) is looking to change that perception by encouraging rowing in the city, starting with its youth.

The CDBI has been running free indoor rowing programs for students at Metropolitan Business Academy and James Hillhouse High School. Led by volunteer coaches, the programs meet twice a week after school. Students work on rowing machines to gain physical strength and endurance, while also learning correct form and the importance of working together. Of course, they have a lot of fun too.

That fun is soon to grow as the result of a $3,500 Year Round Small Grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, which will assist the organization in taking the programs to the water. The move will give students a more hands-on feel for the sport.

John Pescatore, one of CDBI's volunteer coaches, is eager to enhance the program before the end of the 2015 school year. "Students are excited to see what real rowing is like. The indoor program has been excellent, but there is nothing quite like your first experience on the water."

Rowing requires stamina, concentration and teamwork – valuable skills for any young adult. The sport also unleashes a passion for the water that is not always available to children living in the city.

The rowing programs offered by the Canal Dock Boathouse Inc. are just a piece of what the New Haven nonprofit has to offer. The City of New Haven is actively developing the Canal Dock Boathouse, which will be leased to CDBI. Located on the New Haven Harbor, adjacent to Long Wharf Pier, the Boathouse will be a hub for boating enthusiasts, as well as those who share an appreciation for New Haven waterways.

The final project will include a waterfront promenade, dock space and boat storage. In addition, the organization will continue to provide recreational activities based at the New Haven Harbor and extending to the Quinnipiac River. For more information, visit

Did You Know?

Rowing – or crew, as it is often referred to in the U.S. – has its roots as a school sport right here in Greater New Haven, when the first American college rowing club was formed at Yale University in 1843.

Source: US Rowing