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Anita DeFrantz is named Honorary Chair of America Rows

by Beth Kohl | Apr 18, 2012
One hundred days out from the start of the 2012 Olympic Games, USRowing is proud to name Anita L. DeFrantz as the Honorary Chair of America Rows, the nationwide diversity and inclusion initiative created by USRowing to increase awareness of rowing and introducing the sport to a diverse group of Americans.
PRINCETON, N.J. – One hundred days out from the start of the 2012 Olympic Games, USRowing is proud to name Anita L. DeFrantz as the Honorary Chair of America Rows, the nationwide diversity and inclusion initiative created by USRowing to increase awareness of rowing and introducing the sport to a diverse group of Americans.

DeFrantz is a member of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and won a bronze medal rowing in the women’s eight in the 1976 Olympic Games, the first time female rowers were allowed to compete. She also serves as vice president of FISA, the International Rowing Federation.

Since competing in the 1976 Olympic Games, DeFrantz has devoted much of her energy to helping improve the lives of America’s youth through athletics, by mentoring organizations such as America Rows. As president of the LA84 Foundation, she focuses on expanding youth sports opportunities in Southern California, awarding grants to more than 1,000 organizations serving two million young people. She also continues to work tirelessly for the IOC, ensuring that the Olympic Games endure and flourish. Despite such strong involvement in so many sports at every level, it is rowing that is most near and dear to her heart.

“One of the beautiful aspects of the sport of rowing is that it is accessible to everyone. There is little better than being at one with nature in a boat, gliding across the water, working in unison with a team of athletes” said DeFrantz. “I am excited to help bring the sport of rowing to a diverse and too often underrepresented audience around the country. Through rowing, our youth and adults learn about commitment, discipline, time management and teamwork. All are essential traits needed to succeed in life and sport. Through rowing, we learn that anything is possible.”

Launched in 2010, America Rows currently provides organizational and financial resources to 25 rowing programs across the country. Goals for 2012 include addressing the requests to help fund new programs, providing stronger tools for current America Rows programs to compete and where possible, combining rowing with academic tutoring programs.     

“We could not be more proud, having Anita take a leadership role in America Rows,” said USRowing Inclusion Manager Richard Butler. “She has played an important role behind the scenes, working closely with some of our member organizations. With this initiative in place for two years, we are at a pivotal time for growth. Having Anita on board will help us achieve the awareness we need to continue to change lives of urban youth and adults through rowing.”

About USRowing
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, WinTech, 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 and partners ANXeBusiness Corp, Voxer, EZ Dock, EMCVenues, The Perfect SNAQUE and INDi. For more information, visit www.usrowing.org. USRowing has created The Row to London 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 nationwide. For more information, please contact Beth Kohl at beth@usrowing.org.
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