Sports Matter: Support Youth Rowing

Some happy rowers!

CMSD Rows, the rowing program exclusively for students of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, announced that it has been accepted to, and is currently receiving donations as part of, the Dick's Sporting Goods Foundation's Sports Matter program.

Sports Matter is a highly competitive funding program representing a 100%, dollar-for-dollar match, based on a crowd-funding model. CMSD Rows has set the goal of $38,166, and is only able to receive the 100% match, if it meets this goal by a deadline of Friday, May 23. CMSD Rows was one of only three sports teams in Cleveland to be selected from hundreds of applicants for the program.

CMSD Rows has revolutionized rowing in Northeast Ohio. "There's nothing like it out there that is comparable in the state," said Brad Whitehead, chairman of the board of CMSD Rows and president of Northeast Ohio's Fund for Our Economic Future. "We bring kids down to the Cuyahoga River who have never even seen Lake Erie, and their excitement is palpable."

Rowing, often perceived as prohibitively expensive due to the nature of the equipment and infrastructure, is made accessible through CMSD Rows to low-income students. CMSD Rows enables students to participate free of charge, provided they meet certain criteria. In addition, the program provides SAT and ACT prep as well as tutoring. Moreover, the program staff facilitates career and college guidance alongside a summertime job and internship placement program.

NCAA women's collegiate rowing hosts 20 full scholarships per academic institution, the most of any women’s sport. CMSD Rows is positioning students regularly to take advantage of the ample opportunities to earn those scholarships, both athletically and academically.

In terms of structure, CMSD Rows is unique in that it mixes student groups from across the Greater Cleveland area. "Urban and suburban kids are working together, on the same team, in the same boat - day in and day out,” said Jon Adams, a CMSD Rows board member and Cleveland-based entrepreneur. "What other organization even comes close to doing that so holistically?" Adams said.

CMSD Rows, a non-profit organization, has the opportunity of being awarded a total of $76,322 by reaching its fundraising goal of $38,166 no later than Friday, May 23. Donations of any amount are encouraged and accepted by going to: For more information about CMSD Rows, visit

Anne Hribar

Anne Hribar is a coordinator with the Cleveland Scholastic Rowing Association.

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Volume 1, Issue 11, Posted 3:58 PM, 04.30.2014