By Emma Buford
The Summer Adaptive Initiative for Women with Disabilities (IWD) Rowing Camp at Row New York’s Flushing Meadow Lake boathouse came to a close on July 12, 2013. The camp accomplished all of its goals and inspired many women who were completely new to rowing. According to Suzanne Hurwitz, the program coordinator of this event, “the participants ended the week feeling strong and with a desire to continue pursuing the sport of rowing.” The Initiative for Women with Disabilities is an affiliate of the NYU Langone Medical Center and offers medical, health, and wellness services to women with disabilities across the city.
Through sessions on the erg and water time in the barge, the camp’s participants really learned the ins and outs of rowing. They now understand the rowing stroke and what it feels like to glide across the water with their peers.
After five days, the eight participants showed tremendous growth. Participants were also given the opportunity to continue pursuing rowing through Saturday sessions with Row New York and the IWD Indoor Adaptive Rowing Program during the winter.
Row New York’s adaptive programs strongly enhance and develop both mental and physical skills. All of the women in this camp have tremendous potential. One participant stated, “I never thought I could do anything athletic before but now I am rowing and improving each day. I have surpassed my own expectations for myself.” Participants also said, “I feel my hands getting stronger; I haven’t had any hand cramps since I started rowing” and, “I am inspired by watching everyone—I just love rowing.”
Thank you to all the therapists, staff, and volunteers for helping this camp run smoothly! At the final event, participants received certificates while staff received flowers! We hope that this rowing experience motivated our participants and encourages them to continue rowing and learn new skills.