Two New Awards for Exemplary Performance in Rowing Announced

by Ed Moran | Feb 22, 2016
PRINCETON, N.J. – USRowing and the National Rowing Foundation (NRF) are pleased to announce the creation of the Frank A. Shields Awards to be given annually to one or more athletes whose performance leading up to the World Championships or Olympic Games is deemed by the High Performance Director of USRowing to be exemplary.

This year, awards will go to each of the winning athletes of the men’s and women’s pair at the 2016 National Selection Regatta I, March 21-25, in Chula Vista, Calif. NSR I is the first step in the selection process for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team.

USRowing is also pleased to announce that the United States Lightweight Rowing Association (USLRA) will provide matching awards to the winners of the lightweight men’s pair at 2016 NSR 1.

“This year, the Shields and USLRA Awards will allow us to bring greater focus on small boat performance by rewarding those athletes who excel in the women’s pair, the men’s pair and the lightweight men’s pair,” said Curtis Jordan, USRowing High Performance Director.

“The awards will acknowledge the hard work and superior performance of these athletes. In addition, the awards will provide funding directly to our best athletes, allowing them to continue their training in a more supported manner and encourage them to stay in the sport longer. The winners will each receive a $3,500 stipend to support their continued training and commitment to the team."

“The NRF, its donors and the Shields family are very pleased to be able to support this initiative and the benefits it will provide to the athletes and our Olympic team,” said NRF Executive Director Charles Hamlin.

“The Frank A. Shields Award will be given in memory of Frank A. Shields for outstanding performance by rowers seeking to represent the United States at international competitions. Mr. Shields was an avid sportsman and oarsman who was the captain of the University of Pennsylvania rowing team. In 1980, he also founded the Power Ten of New York, an organization dedicated to the support of USRowing.”

Pat Todd, a 2004 and 2008 Olympian, and co-founder of USLRA stated, "All of us at the USLRA are pleased to partner with the NRF and USRowing to offer this performance award to our top lightweight sweep athletes in 2016. As our organization continues to grow, we hope to expand our funding commitment to lightweight athletes."
At NSR 1, athletes will race in pairs for invitations to the “big boat” selection camps. Selection camps will determine crew placement in the men’s and women’s eights, men’s four, lightweight men’s four and women’s quad. The winners in the men’s and women’s pairs at NSR 1 will also earn an opportunity to race at World Rowing Cup II and qualify for the Olympic team with a top-four finish.

The National Rowing Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to support the development, selection and the participation of the U.S. national teams in international competition.

The United States Lightweight Rowing Association is a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to support the development, selection and participation of U.S. lightweight rowers in international competition and to support these athletes when they transition from rowing to careers of their choosing.

For more information about 2016 NSR 1, registration and provisional schedule, visit

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USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States OlympicCommittee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing has 85,000 individual members and 1,300 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all. USRowing receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners.
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