Hosted by Port Rowing and the Town of North Hempstead, Row for Autism began as an opportunity for the participants of Port Rowing’s Adaptive program to showcase their achievements while raising awareness for autism advocacy to the larger community. Since the inaugural Row for Autism, attendance has quadrupled both in sponsorship and participation. Rowing clubs from the tristate area and Long Island come to race in Hempstead Harbor and public awareness continues to spread. This year’s seventh annual event set for April 15 will begin at 9 a.m. and run throughout the day until 5 p.m. at North Hempstead Beach Park located at 175 West Shore Rd., Port Washington.
“Row for Autism is a multifaceted event in that is a great kick off to the spring rowing season for many teams on Long Island, Manhattan, New Jersey and Connecticut,” said Holly Byrne, Executive Director, Friends of Port Rowing and Adaptive Rowing Team Manager. “North Hempstead Beach Park offers one of the best racing venues with its wide expanse of beach front, ample parking, and easy access for both teams and spectators. But the real value is Row for Autism is a meaningful platform for the Port Rowing Adaptive Team to compete and demonstrate their abilities as athletes.”
Friends of Port Rowing began its adaptive rowing program in 2012 with the goals of fostering the love of the sport of rowing and providing teens with special needs the benefits of rowing both socially and physically. The program requires specialized training boats and equipment and a dedicated, professional staff to provide safety and coaching. The adaptive program pairs a special needs teenager with a typical peer mentor.
“The Row for Autism is such an exciting event that brings the community together for a great cause,” said Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “The participating teams raise money for adaptive rowing equipment that enables those with disabilities to participate in this wonderful sport.”
Sponsoring Row for Autism supports Port Rowing’s Adaptive Program, provides specialized equipment and materials, funds professional coaches and support staff and supplements program costs for participants. The rowing experience offers a unique physical outlet for teens on the autism spectrum. Participants in Port Rowing’s Adaptive program not only gain fitness, improve gross motor skills and rowing technique, but also participate in team building and partnership development.
Each year since its inception, Row for Autism donates a portion of the proceeds to an autism advocacy program with local ties. The remaining proceeds support Port Rowing’s Adaptive Program. Sponsorship and vendor booth options are available.
Participation in the Row for Autism is open for rowing teams and clubs. Team registration is through Regatta Central at www.regattacentral.com. Parking will be free for spectators, family and friends. For sponsorship inquiries or questions, contact Holly Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.portrowing.com.