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MetroParks deal includes Olympic relationship

Published: Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 10:10 AM
Updated: Monday, July 20, 2015 @ 12:34 PM

MetroParks announces Olympic rowing relationship

Five Rivers MetroParks today announced an agreement with the United States Olympic Committee and USRowing that designates Dayton Regional Rowing as a Community Olympic Development Program.

The goals include training future Olympian rowers, increasing visibility for high school rowers who want to compete in college and raising awareness with businesses about quality of life offerings locally.

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The newly formed Dayton Regional Rowing is a partnership between MetroParks, the Dayton Boat Club and Greater Dayton Rowing Association.

Dayton Regional Rowing is the only USOC and USRowing sanctioned Community Olympic Development Program for rowing in the nation and one of 12 development programs in the country.

The mission of Dayton Regional Rowing is to provide lifelong personal development and active lifestyles for Miami Valley youth through the sport of rowing, as well as to enhance high-quality intermediate programs for youth to maximize their potential in the Olympic sport of rowing, the group said in a prepared release.

Supporters said the agreement will develop athletes and enhance the sport of rowing in the Dayton region, which MetroParks officials called the “Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest.”

Glenn Merry, USRowing CEO, said the designation meant a “certificate of approval and seriousness” behind the grassroots efforts of the teams to train Olympic competitors. He added the designation was different from resident centers where top athletes train before trying to get onto the Olympic team. Instead of training athletes who are already at the Olympic level, the program would train athletes to become Olympians, Merry said.

“This is about developing the base and future Olympians,” Merry said.

FiveRivers Metroparks Executive Director Becky Benna said the designation could bring more awareness about the Dayton region to companies.

“This is another great opportunity to be able to promote to people and companies all the great things we have,” Benna said.

Benna added the partnership could help get more children and adults outside for recreation.

Greater Dayton Rowing Association head coach Abbey Beach said the designation could help her team become more visible to the community and to colleges looking to attract athletes into their rowing programs. Beach said five of the six seniors on the team were headed to college to row.

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