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Ellen Minzner Scouting Paralympic Talent at National Invitational Rowing Championships

by Sarah Marshall, smarshall@usrowing.org | Mar 18, 2016
Inclusion events will once again be included this year in the National Invitational Rowing Championship May 8, on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass.

WORCESTER, Mass. – USRowing is pleased to announce this year’s National Invitational Rowing Championships (NIRC) will once again offer inclusive races for those institutions and clubs looking to grow their footprint by offering competitive opportunities for student-athletes with physical, visual or intellectual disabilities.

The regatta, scheduled for Sunday, May 8, on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., draws 42 crews from 28 institutions as programs look to compete one last time for the season or attempt to qualify for a berth to the National Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships (women) and the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship (men).

With 125 combined team points, Williams College took home its third National Invitational Rowing Championship (NIRC) Trophy in four years as the overall point champions at the regatta. For the third consecutive year, the University of Michigan captured the NIRC Men’s Overall Point crown, while Bates College took home the honor of women’s overall team champion.

Inclusion events, offered for the first time in 2015, will be included at the NIRC in four boat classes—the men’s and women’s double sculls and the men’s and women’s four with coxswain.

“The USRowing Collegiate Division is excited to offer racing opportunities for these deserving student-athletes,” said USRowing Collegiate Championships Commissioner, Gary Caldwell. “These events will not only provide a championship racing experience for the competitors but will also showcase opportunities for collegiate programs to integrate student-athletes with disabilities into their programs.”

This year’s inclusion events will transition from exhibition status in an effort to attract more participants while also increasing opportunities for student-athletes with disabilities to compete at a championship level. 

"I am thrilled to see the inclusion events move from exhibition to medal status this year at the NIRCs,” said Ellen Minzner, two-time silver medal coach of the U.S. leg, trunk and arms four with coxswain. “This will increase awareness of opportunities for high school and collegiate athletes that will have significant long-term impact on our sport and on our future Paralympic teams."

For a boat to be eligible to race in an inclusion event, 50 percent of its athletes must have a qualifying physical, visual or intellectual disability. For more information about the event, including how to register and qualification criteria for the inclusion events, visit RegattaCentral.

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 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.

For more information, contact: USRowing Communications, (609) 751-0710, media@usrowing.org.
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