gROW Tulsa

gROW Tulsa Outreach Program

The Tulsa Youth Rowing Association (TYRA) offers competitive and recreational rowing training for 7th through 12th grade student athletes. Our mission is to provide an environment to teach rowing while promoting sportsmanship, confidence, leadership and overall health, and providing academic support and future opportunities for college success. Many athletes have benefited through college placement and even scholarships.

Not all students have been able to take advantage of such pathways to success, especially in lower income demographics where difficult home circumstances, low academic expectations and/or reduced activity may stand in the way. The gROW Tulsa outreach project will provide comprehensive access to physical activity, academic support and teamwork to the communities served by our rowing club and increased activity along the Arkansas River corridor.

gROW Tulsa

Initial Pilot Phase

The initial phase of the program will aim to serve local schools by providing them with access to Concept 2 rowing machines for ten weeks. The machines will be used in schools to expose 6th through 8th grade students to rowing, and will be accompanied by a curriculum for educators to use to foster learning in science and mathematics. This program will also allow athletes in the Tulsa Youth Rowing Association the chance to coach and mentor middle school students and will thus provide those students with experiential learning and leadership development. gROW coaches will educate physical educators in the school system to help build expertise. The long-term outcome for the students involved in the program will be to progress to on-the-water activities once they reach high school age and the river in Tulsa exists at a more reliable water level.

Making Our Community Stronger

Long term, the program seeks to accommodate a minimum of fifty student athletes per semester from lower-income families, increasing to a hundred student athletes over a three-year period. Our program will plan to partner with local nonprofits such as the YMCA and YWCA as an example to increase exposure to students. After an initial pilot phase has been completed, we are committed to phasing in access to rowing activities to the adaptive community, juvenile detention centers, veterans and first responders.

More Access To Rowing

Our club has provided an important service to the youth of Tulsa over the past fifteen years. Our graduation rate has been close to 100% with many of our athletes progressing to top level universities and our first generation of rowers now actively contributing to their own communities. We believe that this project will introduce our rowing programs and service to an underserved youth population. As a result, we anticipate an increased opportunity for access to the sport of rowing, a rise in graduation rates, increased inclusion and diversity among our student-athletes, leadership development opportunities, higher levels of daily activity and improved quality of life for those that we serve.

Can You Help Us Make This Become A Reality?

If you have an interest in finding out more about the gROW Tulsa initiative or have an interest in partnering with us, please contact Neil Bergenroth at We would love to hear from you!