The recent completion of the Kenmore Boathouse will soon buoy Woodinville High School’s efforts to start a rowing program. The space will also serve as a space for community rowers as well as other high school crew athletes.
WHS is still in the process of looking for a rowing coach, according to Athletic Director Cathy Boyce.
“There are positions posted on the NSD employment page and anyone interested can reach out to me,” she said in an email. “As you can imagine, finding a rowing coach is extremely difficult but we have not given up on it.”
The new boathouse is a 2,800-sq-ft rowing shell house located at the northern end of Rhododendron Park. It will serve as a year-round base of operations for the Kenmore Rowing Club and home to all four of Northshore School District’s high school crew teams. The project completion was celebrated with a small ribbon cutting ceremony on May 26.
“We are thrilled to provide all Northshore students with an opportunity to participate in a sport that brings abundant mental, physical and lifelong benefits,” NSD Superintendent Michelle Reid said in a statement. “It is important to provide equitable access to traditionally private programs such as crew.”
The facility will provide a staging platform for learn-to-row programs as well as youth rowing camps, according to a press release. Coaching, training, storage and repair services will also be available there.
The purpose of the boathouse is to create a public space that removes barriers and increases access to rowing, the release states. Through the Kenmore Rowing Club, a variety of community programs, discounts and youth scholarships are available as well.
"It is my mission to make the sport of rowing accessible to everyone in all life situations," Suzanna Blahna, executive director of the Kenmore Rowing Club, said in the release.
This facility’s completion marks the next stage of the Rhododendron Park improvement plan, which included the addition of a boardwalk to increase waterfront access for park users in 2018.
Aside from the city of Kenmore and NSD, several other community groups and funding sources came together to make this project possible. Additional financial backing came from Washington state taxpayers, Kenmore Rowing Club & Fundraising Committee, the George R. Pocock Foundation, King County Council and various state legislators.
“This partnership with the City of Kenmore and Pocock Foundation will open doors to post-secondary opportunities for students who may not otherwise have access to the crew experience,” Reid said in the release.
Community members interested in using the boathouse are encouraged to contact the Kenmore Rowing Club at email@example.com.