On Wednesday June 11th, Tulsa Youth Rowing Association and the University of Tulsa partnered with a camp run by National Federation of The Blind to run a 2 hour workshop in rowing. Participants of the camp were instructed by members of the TYRA competitive high school team at the University of Tulsa rowing tank facility.
The students ranged from 5 years old to 9 years old and had never been exposed to the sport before. The students started by learning how to row on rowing machines. Following this, the students spent some time in the rowing tank and learned how to use a sweep oar.
“I’m very excited that we could partner with the National Federation of the Blind and offer the opportunity for these kids to try the sport of rowing for the first time,” said TYRA Head Coach Neil Bergenroth. “By the end of the session you could see how excited the camp participants were that they had the chance to try rowing.”
Linda Raleigh, Teacher of the Visually Impaired and director for the Tulsa BELL (Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning) Program which is sponsored by the NFB added, “This opportunity gives children who are blind a chance to experience first-hand something sighted people are able to experience without giving any thought. Now when they hear family members and friends cheering for Team USA in the rowing competition in our next Olympics, they will understand what that sport is all about. This is a sport in which blind athletes could compete on an equal basis with sighted athletes.”