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Wounded Warriors Find Community at White Rock Rowing

by Sarah Marshall, smarshall@usrowing.org | Oct 13, 2015
As 60 veterans began filing off the bus that had just pulled up to the White Rock Rowing boathouse, Mary Condon was struck by just how eager they all seemed.

As 60 veterans began filing off the bus that had just pulled up to the White Rock Rowing boathouse, Mary Condon was struck by just how eager they all seemed.

“It was so remarkable to see these people so excited and eager to try something new,”WRR Wounded Warrior SMALL 1 copy said Condon, the White Rock Rowing specialized Adaptive Head Coach. “I can’t begin to describe all of the emotions I felt that day it was something I will never forget.”

White Rock Rowing (WWR) was selected to host a Learn to Row day for a group of veterans as they concluded their Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride in early September. The Soldier Ride, which often serves as an introductory program for WWP veterans, consisted of a 34-mile bike ride through Dallas and Ft. Worth.

WRR Wounded Warrior 9***jpgThe Learn to Row event at WWR served as the weekend’s cap-off event to their active lifestyle focused weekend.

“White Rock Rowing has been committed to their adaptive rowing programs and this was unquestionably one of the most extraordinary days at our boathouse,” said Condon. “To be in the presence of so many Wounded Warriors that personify the inspiration of sacrifice, perseverance and show us the true meaning of dedication was inspiring. The smiles on all of the faces said it all and White Rock Rowing was honored to be a part of this event through the Wounded Warrior Project.”

The day started off with a quick demonstration on the ergs and then on to the water!  With the help of a large, enthusiastic group of WRR volunteers, veterans were able to get hands on experience in a boat.

“This event is so special because it solves a problem that often gets overlooked,” saidWRR Wounded Warrior SMALL 10  copy 2 WRR Board Member Sue Ellen. “Activities like this are about socialization and inclusion so as to give veterans an opportunity to get out and meet new people. We are eager to have the opportunity to help out with this event again soon!”

“I think the veterans gave back to our volunteers just as much as they were helping them,” said Condon. “It was pretty neat to see the friendships being forged in such a short span of time.”

The adaptive program at WRR is entering it’s fourth year as a Dallas program after Condon, a physical therapist by trade and a longtime rower, went looking for a boathouse to create an adaptive program. The program has seen much success so far with a small regularly meeting three to four times a week. With about 45 athletes through the program so far, WWR looks to continuing to build their adaptive classes.

For more information on the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride, click here.
For more information on the White Rock Rowing club, click here.  

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