USRowing Para Rowing Center Opening in Boston

31 May, 2019

USRowing is pleased to announce that it will be opening the USRowing Para Training Center – Boston in association with Community Rowing, Inc. It will be the first national training center for rowers with disabilities in the United States.

“We are so honored by this new chapter in our relationship with USRowing,” said Ted Benford, Executive Director of Community Rowing, Inc. “It enables USRowing and CRI to improve competitive opportunities for Paralympic athletes and also provides an inspirational pathway for anyone with a physical or intellectual disability to learn more about opportunities in rowing. The partnership will have an incredibly meaningful impact on our community and, we believe, the para rowing community at large.”

Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI), is the largest public access rowing club in the United States. The effort toward the partnership was fostered by Ellen Minzner, CRI’s Director of Inclusion and Advocacy and coach of the five-time silver medal winning U.S. PR3 mixed four with coxswain crew.

“CRI is committed to growing access to para rowing at the youth and collegiate levels to draw out top competitors as early as possible and provide a pathway to Paralympic success,” Minzner said.

“USRowing is excited to partner with CRI to develop a national training center for our para rowing athletes, as we look towards the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo,” said USRowing Chief Executive Officer Patrick McNerney. “We look forward to working with CRI to develop a more structured training center environment and more competitive opportunities for para athletes, as we build a stronger base for our Paralympic program.”

In addition to maintaining her role as Director of Inclusion and Advocacy at CRI, Minzner will take on the additional role of USRowing’s Para High Performance Director, where she will oversee the para rowing national team’s performance and athlete development activities.

“Our goal is not just to select para crews, but to include para rowers and coaches from clubs around the USA to share a platform from which potential national team athletes can be identified and developed,” Minzner said.

“Ellen has done a fantastic job as coach of the PR3 mixed four over the past several years, consistently reaching the medal podium. We look forward to her expanded role with USRowing as she takes over as our Para High Performance Director,” McNerney said. “She will bring a wealth of experience to the organization, as we take the next step in building our para rowing program.”

With Minzner moving into her new position, Tom Darling has been moved up to Senior Director of National Para Programs, focusing on developing long term strategies to raise the much-needed resources to build a sustainable US Para Rowing organization to support preparations for the 2020 Paralympics and beyond.

Community Rowing, Inc., has been supporting athletes with disabilities for more than 30 years and now serves more than 500 adults and youth each year with physical, sensory and cognitive impairments. Over the past six years, CRI has emerged as the leader in innovation and advocacy for para rowing, led by Minzner. In 2015, CRI was awarded Gold Level Paralympic Sports Club status by the United States Olympic Committee and has hosted the U.S. para rowing four with coxswain since 2013. The partnership with USRowing will enable para rowers to train year round at the CRI facilities, receive elite coaching and call the new USRowing Para Training Center – Boston at the award-winning Harry Parker Boathouse home for the quadrennial leading up to Tokyo 2020.

CRI will host a para rowing identification camp May 31-June 4, 2019, for aspiring athletes with Paralympic eligibility to form potential line-ups for future U.S. trials events. The USRowing selection camp for the PR3 mixed four with coxswain will take place over the three weeks following the identification camp, with top athletes in the PR3 category from across the United States being invited to compete for a position in the crew that will represent the United States at the World Rowing Championships in August in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria.

ABOUT USROWING: USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing has 83,000 individual members and 1,350 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all. USRowing receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners. For more information, please go to

ABOUT COMMUNITY ROWING, INC.: Community Rowing, Inc., is a nonprofit organization in Brighton, Mass., dedicated to the belief that the sport of rowing provides a powerful tool to promote personal and community growth. CRI delivers after-school programs to public school youth and provides and promotes health and fitness opportunities to community members of all physical and cognitive abilities and ages in the Greater Boston area. Community Rowing, Inc. was founded by U.S. Olympic and National Team rowers with the goal of growing and diversifying the rowing community and securing public access for the sport on the Charles River. Today, CRI is the largest and most active community rowing organization in the United States. For more information, please go to


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