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Vesper Boat Club is the 2014 USRowing Club of The Year

by Ed Moran, ed@usrowing.org | Oct 22, 2014
PRINCETON – Vesper Boat Club of Philadelphia has been named the 2014 USRowing Club of the year, the association announced Wednesday. Although Vesper is historically one of the most well known rowing organizations in the country, this is the first time Vesper has won the award.

 

 Vesper Boat Club athletes at 2014 USRowing Club Nationals.

 

PRINCETON, N.J. – Vesper Boat Club of Philadelphia has been named the 2014 USRowing Club of the year, the association announced Wednesday. Although Vesper is historically one of the most well known rowing organizations in the country, this is the first time Vesper has won the award.

“This is one of the best things that has happened,” said Vesper Boat Club president Joanne Iverson. “I did not expect Vesper to be recognized for what we say we do. We’re a big club, and we’ve got a lot of people, and we’re into a lot of things.”

More than 1,200 USRowing member organizations across the country were eligible for the award, which is based on a points system focusing on the following criteria: performance, community outreach, service to rowing, USRowing participation, technology and communications, and safety.

Founded in 1865, and housed on Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row, Vesper has produced some of the most famous rowers in American history including John B. Kelly Sr., John B. Jelly Jr., and Olympic and national team coach Allen Rosenberg. The club has won the men’s eight event at the Olympic Games three times including the first Olympic rowing regatta in Paris in 1900. The Vesper eight repeated its victory at the 1904 Games in St. Louis, and again at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

Vesper has consistently produced national team athletes and this year, hosted the women’s lightweight quad camp and produced the boat that won trials and represented the U.S. at the World Rowing Championships, along with men’s single sculler Yohann Rigogne. Two members of the U.S. team that medaled at the 2014 World Rowing Championships were Vesper members, including Grace Latz, who won bronze in the quad and Vicky Opitz, who won gold in the eight.

The club hosts both junior and under 23 camps every summer and has won the overall men’s and women’s points trophies at the USRowing Club National Championships the past two years.

In addition to its competitive rowing programs, Vesper contributes to several community outreach initiatives including Philadelphia City Rowing, a rowing program that serves inner city youth from the Philadelphia School District, a chartable program that provides help and bicycles to women transitioning from substance addition, abuse and incarceration, supports a middle school that is committed to educating under-resourced students and allows four high schools to run their rowing programs from the Vesper boathouse.

Vesper also helped create a collaborative among clubs on Boathouse Row to share equipment and resources for the benefit of the overall Philadelphia rowing community.

Iverson said Vesper renovated its boathouse 10 years ago and suffered a significant financial setback during the process. She said the club has taken time to rebound and that the award is an affirmation of their efforts to return Vesper to its status as one of the top clubs in the country.

“After all this time, we’re getting back on our feet,” she said. “This award comes at a great time.”

To learn more about USRowing’s Club of the Year award and view past winners, click here.

 

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 has 75,000 individual members and 1,200 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all. USRowing’s official suppliers include Concept 2, Croker Oars, JanSport, Nielsen Kellerman, Vespoli and WinTech. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners: ANXeBusiness Corp, Boathouse Sports, Connect-A-Dock, EMCVenues, JP Crickets, Ludus Tours and Rudy Project. USRowing relies on strong partnerships to enable continued success. America Rows, which supports diversity in rowing and provides opportunities for those with disabilities, also benefits from corporate support.

Additional information may be found at www.usrowing.org | Twitter: @usrowing
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