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It’s a ‘G’ Thing: Row New York offers unique programs for kids with disabilities

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It's a refreshing break from the classroom for these high schoolers.

“Feeling kind a happy now," Destiny said.

“I feel a little scared, feel a little scared” Candace, said.

“I feel okay," Jennifer said.

The students are overcoming their fears, going out on the water with the nonprofit, Row New York.

Row New York was founded in 2003 to bring the sport of rowing, combined with academic support to under resourced communities,” Matt Logue, Director Community Rowing, explained.

One of the many programs offered is 'Adaptive Rowing' for kids with disabilities.

"The disabilities are cognitive disabilities for the girls of District 75 and we meet their physical fitness requirements, engaging them in teamwork and community, fun and fitness,” Logue said.

And it all started with getting the girls loosened up then teaching them the basics on the rowing machine. Next, they take those moves to the barges, which are double wide for extra stability.

“Ready to rock?" I asked Destiny "Yeah, I’m ready to rock right now,” she smiled.

But, not before getting strapped in.

“We’re a very safety first organization and our coaches and teachers are very great at making the kids feel very comfortable on land and then in the water," Logue said.

The kids were way braver than me, they marched right out to the water, grabbed their oars and were off!

“Turn your oar look at it, that’s it girl, here we go,” one of the teachers cheered. "Ready, set, row!”

“The smiles on their faces of them being out there and seeing all their work and effort translate to moving forward, they really get a kick out of it,” Logue described of the girls.

When they got back on dry land, concern had turned to confidence.

“It was good!" one girl said.

"I liked the water, everything," another added.

“I just want you to know I had great time on the rowing team," Gianna smiled.

 

Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi