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Are mission statements really necessary for rowing clubs?

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Our partner website Rowperfect looked at the mission statements of rowing clubs in German- and English-speaking countries. While it is a common topic in English-speaking countries, it is often mixed with bylaws and rules in German-speaking countries. Only a few German clubs have actual mission statements.

A possible definition of mission statements for rowing clubs:

A mission statement is a written declaration by a club/association about its self-image and fundamental principles. It formulates goals and aspirations for the club and beyond. Internally, a mission statement should also provide a basic orientation. Furthermore, it should motivate the club and the individual members. These three aspects should be part of a good mission statement:

  • Self-image and goals
  • A basic orientation
  • Motivation

Do rowing clubs need mission statements?

We at Rowperfect and Coastal Boats think they do! Many clubs have healthy competition for members and, thereby, money. Where does the money go? And what does it generally support? Especially nowadays, it is essential to clarify whether the club is pursuing other goals besides rowing.

Moreover, it should always be clear where funds come from and how they are used. A mission statement can have a clarifying effect here. In the following, you will find various examples of mission statements.

Frisco Rowing Center, Colorado

“Frisco Rowing Center is dedicated to providing the opportunity for people to participate in the wonderful sport of rowing. We believe the sport of rowing enhances health, and longevity while providing opportunities to improve personal growth through teamwork, coordination skills, and physical fitness.”

Three Rivers Rowing, Pennsylvania

“Mission: Develop and deliver safe, sustainable and inclusive programs and events that teach and promote the benefits of rowing and paddling to our diverse community.

Values: Safety:  We embrace a Safety First mindset at all Times.  Diversity & Inclusion: We have a place for everyone!  Excellence:  We are driven to do and be our best.  Unity:   We believe in the power of teamwork.  Collaboration:  We share our skills and knowledge.  Responsibility:  We use our resources responsibly and take initiative to improve.  Communication:  We engage in honest, transparent and frequent communication.  Fitness:  We take care of our community and ourselves.

Vision: TRRA will…

…Increase our diversity as an open and welcoming organization that reflects the demographics of the Pittsburgh communities we serve.

…Unite our TRRA community with a focus on engagement, volunteerism, and communication.

….Lead the community rowing & paddling movement with evolving technology and educational processes to enhance the participant experience.”

Rogue Rowing, Oregon

“The Rogue Rowing Club is a community-based organization that inspires and supports a passion for the sport of rowing. We promote a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment where every athlete can discover the powerful connection between self, boat, teammates and water. We develop competitive and recreational rowers at all levels, embracing fun, teamwork, trust and mutual respect by creatively engaging the talent, time and resources of our membership.”

Sagamore Rowing, New York

“Early in 2020 Sagamore committed to the tagline “Rowing Changes Lives”.

Since 1972, SRA’s motto has been “Building Long Island’s Rowing Tradition”. Sagamore has been the incubator for many of Long Island’s junior and masters rowing teams and clubs.

In this new decade, Sagamore is building on its strong foundations within the community, and expanding to foster a greater sense of individual and civic purpose through the pursuit of excellence in rowing.

A bit about Sagamore’s History
The purpose of SRA is to foster a sense of community by supporting and promoting scholastic and community-based rowing programs and other
activities associated with non-motorized boating; to teach and train oarsmen and oarswomen without preference to race, creed, religion, color or physical disability; to provide equitable means for both recreational and competitive rowing, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally; to maintain the natural beauty of the waterways used for rowing; and to provide a means for community and charitable involvement in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and their surrounding areas. With over 540 participants last year, SRA’s mission is to promote the sport of rowing. By serving the high school, college and adult community, Sagamore is helping Long Island rediscover this traditional sport.”

Cantabrigian Rowing Club, England

“We have strong connections with local schools, providing rowing classes as part of the syllabus and offer pupils the opportunity to row outside of school hours. In 2001, Cantabs became a Project Oarsome club, cementing its links with local schools and gaining a substantial award of junior training equipment from British Rowing.”


Does your club have a unique mission statement that you would like to show other rowers? Let us know in the comments!


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