We have less sunlight, more rain, and too many things to celebrate! 2018 was another great year for BLJ so let’s get together and have some fun. We will have our annual end of the year celebration at InRiva, located at 4116 Ridge Ave in Philadelphia, on Nov 3rd from 6pm to 9pm. Tickets are $50 and are available for purchase below. We hope to see you there!
BLJ Community coached and COXED the first annual Corporate Challenge eight comprised of members of City Council. This was an endeavor of herculean proportions and Charlita David from Councilman Jones"s office is the genius behind it. BLJ Community staff had a blast coaching each council member individually, educating them on the river and the sport, while running a separate practice schedule to give them time in the eight in their race line up. Between, budget hearings and packed schedules we managed to secure substantial water time and the laughs never stopped. City council members threw themselves into the adventure of learning how to scull and sweep and then RACE. The Philadelphia Public Record said "They finished last in the race but first in our hearts" and I could not agree more. As their coach and unfortunate coxswain I will never forget my time in a boat with these stellar humans and I am looking forward to next year.
Who was in the boat:
John Fenton, from Jannie Blackwell's Office
Charlita Davis, the genius from Councilman Jones's office that planned this whole endeavor
BLJ Rowing had the pleasure of conducting a Learn-To-Row session with The East Side Indoor Rowing Program based in New York City
The East Side Indoor Rowing afterschool program provides 7-12 graders with a fun and challenging dynamic and rhythmic erg training. Their mission is to transform the lives of students in diverse low resource schools through indoor rowing, education, and youth development. They do this by delivering three days a week of fast pace great cardiovascular exercise, academic support, mentorship, youth entrepreneurship, and college readiness. Through indoor rowing students learn the values of physical activity, health, hard work, challenges, self-expression, and social interaction. A goal of the program is to expose every student in New York, regardless of background, to the sport of rowing and provide them with tools they need to have rowing as an option.
During the week of May 9th – 12th, The East Side Program celebrates a “Week Without Walls” a school tradition that allows kids to spend an educational week outside of school. The group choose Philly because it is a rowing city and for some of the students it was the first opportunity to actually be on the water. The focus of the program is on diversity, and the group chose to row with Brannon Johnson, found of BLJ Community Rowing, one of the most diverse community rowing programs in the Philadelphia metro area.
The day started with a tour of the Vesper Boathouse. Students then travelled up river to the BLJ Community Rowing club where they were able to participate in either sweep rowing or sculling. By the end of the afternoon, students completed two water sessions, with a break for lunch which was hosted by BLJ Community Rowers. The day ended with a tour of the Temple Boathouse.
About East Side Indoor Rowing
The East Side Indoor Rowing program was founded by Arshay Cooper in 2016 and is used as a pipeline to get kids on the water with Row New York. Arshay Cooper is an award winning author, US Rowing Golden Oars winner and motivational speaker.
This is BLJ Community's annual fundraiser, it helps offset some of the equipment and staffing costs that are not covered by our annual dues. We work hard to keep our dues affordable and that means that we have to actively fund raise. It is imperative that we keep up with the constant repairs that our fleet requires due to the high usage from our growing community, so that we can continue to provide access to all in the great sport of rowing. The Derby party takes place at Strangeloves, which is owned and operated by Leigh Maida, a longtime BLJ Community Rower, and it really is a stellar venue. This event is fun filled with Derby Hats available to rent for the evening and some good old fashioned horse betting. This fun filled event is becoming a crowd favorite and we couldn't be happier. Tickets are available for purchase here.