Some of the nation’s top rowers attend UHS — now they can compete for the school
By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times
EAST MARLBOROUGH — Although the Unionville area boasts a number of the nation’s top young rowers, Unionville High School has lacked its own crew team. But that appears to be on the verge of changing.
The Unionville-Chadds Ford Board of Education is expected to grant club sport status Tuesday night to the Unionville Rowing Club, which would begin competition this year in blue and gold. The status is similar to that of the defending state champion boys rugby team, members earn a varsity letter, but the sports do not compete as part of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and are largely self-funded. The crew team is expected to be completely self-funded.
Numerous parents and students spoke during Monday night’s board workshop meeting, stressing the value of crew — tandem rowing competition. They noted a number of local rowers — some of whom are nationally ranked — come from the area and would like to compete for their school. Most currently row for the Newport Rowing Club, which mostly features rowers from southern Chester County and northern Delaware.
A number of Unionville High School students spoke out during the meeting, expressing their passion for the sport — how it challenges them and has brought changes that have impacted them positively personally and academically.
“I surprise myself everyday in practice,” UHS senior Katie Hewton said.
The Unionville Rowing Club will be set up as a 501 (3)c non-profit, said Cuyler Walker, the East Marlborough Township Supervisor and attorney, who has volunteered to help set up the legal aspects of the organization.
Walker, who rowed in college, offered his support as well, “it’s an outstanding sport.”
The URC will compete out of the Wilmington Rowing Center, sharing facilities with Concord High School of Wilmington and Wilmington Charter.
In addition to club matches, the URC is expected to compete at the Independence Day Regatta in Philadelphia, which features some of the nation’s top high school, college and adult teams. About 60 colleges typically compete — and recruit younger rowers, which means an opportunity for Unionville students to be showcased for some the nation’s best schools.