With its extensive experience in learn-to-row courses, coaching, building rowing programmes and rowing leadership, Community Rowing is a perfect partner for the Kafue River & Rowing Centre. CRI will provide a full analysis of the rowing opportunities in Kafue, as well as in Zambia, organise a full-time coach and create a rowing education and coaching programme that suits the local community and the region.

Community Rowing is a non-profit organisation based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. With a fully-equipped boathouse along the shores of the Charles River, thousands of people each year take to the water from the CRI boathouse. Their programmes include everything from learn-to-row, to elite rowing and coaching education. The main goal: rowing for all.

"We are delighted to partner with World Rowing on this important project.  The focus that World Rowing puts on world-wide access to clean water aligns perfectly with the mission of CRI to provide "Rowing for All."  The Kafue Project is creating a powerful new pathway for young people to engage in the sport of rowing, and the long term potential to bring attention to the water quality of the Kafue River is critical for the health of the entire community," says CRI Executive Director Bruce Smith.  

Progress to date in the Kafue region has already seen students from the local schools preparing to add rowing to their sports curriculum. The nearest school to the Centre is the Kafue secondary boarding school. On World Rowing’s most recent site visit, the students went to the water’s edge to learn from World Rowing's WWF expert Imakando Sinyama about water quality. Sinyama noted that the enthusiasm to get on the water in rowing boats was evident.

Imakando Sinyama of WWF Zambia at Kafue © FISA

Coaching candidates from CRI’s Institute for Rowing Leadership are under consideration for the full-time coaching position in Kafue.

“The candidates proposed for this position by the Institute for Rowing Leadership are very qualified. The Institute reinforces best coaching practices and takes a global approach, teaching students how to effectively manage the club, the equipment, stage events and more. This is exactly the type of coach we need in place at the Kafue River & Rowing Centre,” says FISA Development Manager Sheila Stephens Desbans.

In addition, one coach from Zambia will be sent to Boston to attend the CRI’s Institute for Rowing Leadership coaching course. 

“We want to develop rowing sustainably in these communities through grass roots efforts. In five years, we hope that Zambian coaches will be fully trained to run the rowing clubs and to coach future coaches,” says Stephens Desbans.

“The Centre is an important addition to the community. It will provide local school children and community members with the opportunity to learn rowing and to learn through a hands-on approach about water and sustainable water practices. Education is the key to understanding and managing water resources now and in the future. The Kafue River & Rowing Centre will provide a way to educate everyone from local students to the most influential stakeholders,” says WWF Zambia Water Stewardship Manager, Imakando Sinyama.

The CRI partnership marks another important step forward for the Kafue River & Rowing Centre. The project was launched in June 2015 as an action project that would activate World Rowing’s established commitment to education and awareness about clean water. The rowing community has already showed their support. More than 1200 individuals have made contributions, led by rowing’s top athletes who are ambassadors for the project.

As well as the partnership with CRI, World Rowing recently announced a partnership with Royal Ahrend Furniture Company who will continue to support fundraising efforts and provide the Centre with state-of-the-art furniture. 

“We are extremely proud of the incredible support we have seen from the rowing community. It shows that rowers are concerned about clean water and willing to help make a difference,” says FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland. “Community Rowing is an exceptional organisation. Their expertise in running rowing programmes will drive the success of the rowing portion of the Kafue River & Rowing Centre.”

To make a donation, click here: http://www.worldrowing.com/environment/kafue-river-rowing-centre/give

To learn more about the Kafue River & Rowing Centre, click here: http://www.worldrowing.com/environment/kafue-river-rowing-centre/