Recognizing a Leader - PNRA is the 2015 USRowing Club of the Year

by Ed Moran, | Nov 05, 2015
PRINCETON, N.J. - For the Princeton National Rowing Association, 2015 has been a year of highs and lows.
mercerPRINCETON, N.J. - For the Princeton National Rowing Association, 2015 has been a year of highs and lows.

From a competitive standpoint, the PNRA Mercer Juniors program has been on a roll, taking second in the Women’s Youth Varsity Eight, third in the Women’s Lightweight Youth Eight and finishing 11th overall in the Men’s Youth Eight at the 2015 USRowing Youth National Championships and then bringing home nine gold medals later in the summer from the Royal Canadian Henley.

As an organization, PNRA hosted 16 successful regattas on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J., including the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships (IRAs), The Knecht Cup and the Collegiate Small Boat Challenge. In addition, PNRA ran 13 youth regattas, including the USRowing Mid-Atlantic Youth Championships.

Coming on the heels of that success, PNRA suffered a very personal loss when the president of the board since 2005, Dr. Tim Hosea, passed away suddenly in August. “That was the hard part of the year, losing Tim Hosea,” said PNRA Executive Director Kris Grudt. “He was the president of our board since 2005, and he was really one of the guiding hands for us.”

But the year finished on a positive note, first with a bronze medal at the 2015 Head of the Charles Regatta for the women’s youth eight and then by being voted the 2015 USRowing Club of the Year for the second time in the last five years.

The award recognizes outstanding efforts among clubs in improving rowing opportunities, involving membership and the local community and serving as an example to the rowing community and the general public of outstanding organizational leadership, involvement in USRowing, competition opportunities, community service, safety, performance and volunteer development.

PNRA will be honored at the 2015 USRowing Annual Convention, Dec. 3-6 in Philadelphia, Pa.

“We’re really pleased. It’s great to be recognized and it really is a reflection on all the contributions and the hard work all the people here do, the athletes, the volunteers and the parents,” Grudt said.

“PNRA is one of our closest partners and has been since they came into existence,” said USRowing Chief Executive Officer Glenn Merry. “This year it is especially appropriate to recognize their efforts because of the passing of Tim Hosea. He was the quintessential representation of the rowing guy supporting the sport, and that’s what PNRA does.

“They serve as our local organizing committee and our home field and we couldn’t ask for better partners. I’m really happy to see Kris Grudt’s efforts and Tim Hosea recognized,” Merry said.

According to Grudt, one of the most exciting aspects of 2015 was the performance of the Mercer Juniors program. “If you look at our junior programs since I started in 2008, we went from about 100 kids to almost 200 kids. And in that time, we’ve always sent a boat or two to nationals.

“The girls eight finishing second, the lightweight girls eight finishing third and the men in eleventh is a great achievement for the coaches and the athletes. And then going up to Canadian Henley and bringing home nine gold medals was something to be very pleased about.

“From the regatta side, PNRA successfully hosted the IRA for the second year in a row and that was a lot of fun and very rewarding along with all the other regattas we do,” he said.

It’s been a great year for PNRA, Grudt said and the future looks even brighter with plans to expand on the existing facility coming closer to becoming reality.

“We’re trying to expand the facility to add some indoor space, some boat bays, but largely more indoor space so the national team and the juniors can practice indoors,” Grudt said.

“One of our problems is the national team has to do their indoor workouts off-site and there isn’t a lot of space for the athletes to have down time here. There’s minimum locker room space. We’re looking at correcting that,” he said.

For information on the 2015 USRowing Annual Convention, click here.

Go here to see a list of past Club of the Year winners.

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, Ludus Tours, Rudy Project and Shimano. 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.

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