June 3, 2022 - Arshay Cooper, Founder of A Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund, and his high school teammate Alvin Ross visited Stockton on June 3 & 4, first at Edison H.S., then for DSC’s “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work” fundraiser/acknowledgement of partnerships event, and finally for a rowing experience with 6 Edison youth at the boathouse (with 2-time Olympian David Banks, Arshay, and Alvin plus DSC coaches and youth rowers working with them).
Special thanks to The Port of Stockton, San Joaquin County Office of Education, Dignity Health, and Adventist Health - Lodi Memorial for substantial sponsorship of the June 3rd event—and, to many private donors. We are very grateful to the Stockton Sailing Club for letting DSC use their outdoor venue to host that event. We are so lucky to have such supportive neighbors on the waterway.
I had the JOY of renewing our "Athlete of the Quarter" award - one we hadn't bestowed since prior to Covid - on Sheila Arnold who travels from Volcano to row in our adaptive row every Tuesday.
All of the volunteer coaches picked her unanimously to receive this recognition. Sheila drives the distance whether it's through wildfire smoke and she's without electricity or Covid is raging or whatever else is conspiring to block her! In more than a year she has almost NEVER missed. We could count her absences on one hand!
Sheila inspires us with her progress - remembering and coordinating are challenges but she never gets frustrated and never lets herself feel defeated. She really is an inspiration to us all.
Jeff and Annie are two of the volunteers who have rowed with her as doubles partners. (Missed getting Linn and Marie in the picture.) And we celebrated Jeff's and Sheila's birthdays during that week. Happy Birthday and CONGRATULATIONS Sheila for all you teach us!
- Pat Tirone
Stockton, CA - Six adult newcomers successfully and joyfully learned to scull in a 3-hour Sample Sculling session at DSC on April 30th. DSC’s experienced scullers were thrilled to see how quickly and happily they took to our sport. We look forward to meeting a second group of Sample Scullers on May 21st.
Stockton, CA - Earth Day was a busy day for DSC at Victory Park in downtown Stockton. Education and exercise were paramount as visitors kept our youth scullers/instructors, adult DSC volunteers and coaches, and rowing machines going all day long. And our posters provided detailed environmental facts and visuals about how to be stewards of the Delta waterways.
DSC is grateful to receive the offer of a very generous dollar-for-dollar matching grant from the Brian M. Stocker fund!
This means that all donations made to Delta Sculling Center through 209Gives on April 12th will be fully matched up to a total of $5,000!
We are so grateful to receive the support of this generous legacy gift. Making this match means we could afford to help at least five young people participate in our after-school programming!
About The Brian M. Stocker Fund
The Brian M. Stocker Fund is a fund held at the Community Foundation of San Joaquin that was established through a generous legacy gift from the estate of Brian M. Stocker. The mission of the Fund is to support Brian’s lifelong passion for recreational programs, wellness and healthy living among children and youth in Northern San Joaquin County, with a preference given to Lodi and Stockton.
Delta Sculling Center is privileged and excited to participate in 209Gives - San Joaquin County’s annual fundraiser for community non-profits – sponsored by the Community Foundation of San Joaquin. The event offers donors an opportunity to engage with local causes through an exciting day of participating in locally driven philanthropy. More than $555,000 has been raised since 209Gives launched in 2020!
With the support of DSC participants in all our programs & their families, friends, and the broader community, 209Gives has enabled DSC to welcome new scullers, helped keep our doors open through the pandemic and provided approximately a third of our youth and many of our adult athletes with disabilities with financial assistance so that ALL can participate. We invite you to join our community in support of all area nonprofits on April 12, 2022 and we ask you to remember Delta Sculling Center.
Throughout the spring and as 209Gives approaches, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or check out our Donate Page for ways to get involved today!
On Sunday, January 23rd, 2022 members of DSC’s high school team traveled to Marin Rowing to participate in USRowing’s U-19 Identification Camp. The camp was open to all junior rowers in Northern California and was an opportunity to learn from the national team coaches and the top local athletes.
Our rowers learned new drills and got good feedback from some of the top junior coaches in the country. They represented Stockton and DSC well!
- Coach Jane Mcclellan
Visit Record Net for the article.
Check out our recent feature in The Stockton Record! Thank you Clifford Otto for taking the time to cover our work!
Here is a recent Q&A with novice rower, James, who just joined our Freedom Rows: Delta Heroes team, a program formed by active duty US Military and veterans with disabilities. James rowed with us during the summer for several months but because he works an 8pm to 3am shift in Lathrop and lives in Tracy, he eventually had to interrupt his sculling lessons with us. He later rejoined our team for some fabulous indoor rowing. Please read on . . .
“I'm part of the team now!!! This is going to be super fun!”
Throughout the year, Delta Sculling Center remains active in San Joaquin County. Whether at community fairs or hosting Sample Sculling sessions out on the Delta waterways, our goal is to make the sport of sculling accessible to everyBODY. We are able to adapt our boats and instruction to accommodate any physical or cognitive challenge one may face. Our adaptive rowers find “the run of the boat” with just as much ease and comfort as those that are able-bodied.
Our hearts are filled with joy every time we meet with a novice sculler, one who experiences rowing on the water for the first time. We get the opportunity to CONNECT! And in rowing, “connection” is everywhere. The biggest and best is, of course, connecting with one another. But there are metaphors for connecting throughout the most elemental parts of rowing. All the time we are in our sculls, we are thinking about the connection of our feet with the foot stretchers, our hands with our oar handles, our bottom with the seat, our blades as they drop in the water and the connection that is created as we drive the boat past where our blades lock onto the water. Connection is everywhere in our sport!
That’s why when one of our new athletes decides to take the leap and join our center, we get super excited! James is one of our novice scullers at Delta Sculling Center. Right before spring, James took on the World Erg Challenge, an indoor row competition hosted by Concept2. In just 30 days, James clocked in at 220,069 meters on his erg (indoor row machine) and took the bronze medal on our team! That is nearly 137 miles rowed in one month…not bad for ANY rower let alone a total novice!!
Here’s a few thoughts from James, who just caught the “rowing bug” as we like to call it. We cannot wait to see James and all of our DSC athletes back at our boathouse at RiverPoint Landing Marina soon!
DSC: James, how did you start your indoor row training this year?
James: I had a great experience at The Row House Gym. The instructor told me I had great technique, thanks to the instruction I received from DSC so far. I was so proud to hear that! This was what sparked me to buy an erg. Maybe one day I'll be a Row House franchise owner. I know it'll do well because people are now realizing how good rowing is for the body.
DSC: Concept2 hosts an indoor rowing challenge each year. You’ve been such a huge part of our World Erg Challenge team, Team Delta. Wish we could have ranked a little higher on the team leader board!
James: Winning comes in different forms. Being on Team Delta is a win for me! I was on a soccer team once where most of the team smoked marijuana and drank beer before, during and after the game and didn't care if they won or lost. That's a losing team. This team is doing the best they can. The win for me is that I am learning and getting stronger. I'm sure if we weren't so nice, we would limit the number of spaces and instruct the rowers in how much they need to do to be in the top 5.
Anyway, I'm going to try and do the best I can to get some big numbers for the team for the challenge. I'm having a great time doing this, and I'm really enjoying this new world I am in!
DSC: How do you feel about the 220,000+ meters you accomplished in 30 days?
James: When I finally saw all of the rowers and teams on the Concept2 website, I felt this immense motivation to row my a*# off! So, if my calculations are correct, had I not been so slow to realize what I had to do to set up the challenge on my computer, I could’ve ended up with at least 420,00 meters.
DSC: How has your on-water practice helped with your land rowing?
James: On land, I gave full effort in trying to stick to the technique you taught me. I feel that I was able to row longer on land at higher watts when I incorporated them. In the last week and a half, I have seen improvements in my mental state and fitness.
DSC: What do you think you still need to work on?
James: Currently (and probably forever), I am working on technique and form. I would like to get to a point where it would be hard for me to deviate from good form. I think I am pretty close considering how long it takes me to understand new things. After that, I can concentrate on time, power and stamina. The club’s mission, the vibe, and the people are all great, so I’d like to stay involved.
DSC: Where do you see rowing fitting in to your life from here on out?
James: I honestly think this is the tip of the iceberg. My mind has been going crazy in wanting to go to the next level. I know that I am new, but I do want to compete, I just don’t know how to go about it. Also, I know that I am still dialing in technique and form, but I definitely want more!
All of this is making me feel that saying thank you is not enough to describe my appreciation of what you have done for me. I love rowing. The people, the challenge, the fitness, the beauty, the suffering… everything associated with rowing. I can’t wait to experience the next level. Thank you, Pat. Thank you, DSC!
Thank YOU, James! Rowing is for everyBODY, and we are SO thrilled that you have found a passion in the sport that we all hold so dear to our hearts! Next time, we’ll see you on the water!
Since the start of quarantine our Oarbusters and Freedom Rows programs have come together via a virtual Zoom call every Thursday morning for an hour check in! During this time, members of our team lead the group in a guided meditation, Pilates instruction, and a yoga practice. We continue to explore each of these three practices through the lens of rowing and being on the water. At the end of every hour we are always so impressed by the synchronicities and collective energies resulting from the time spent together!
We just LOVE listening to the stories and updates from all of our rowers. And we KNOW we are all counting down the minutes until we can be back on the river where we find so much relaxation, peace, and a sense of community. We miss it, and we miss YOU! We will all be together on the Delta so soon!
Here are a few of the highlights that we spoke about about during our weekly virtual meetings with Oarbusters and Freedom Rows:
1. Meditation, led by Dorbea
Dorbea began meditation this week with a beautiful poem that had us truly visualizing our time together out on the water again, feeling that connection we yearn for every time we move out on the river:
2. Pilates, led by Karen C.
We spoke about the breath and focused on the Pilates foundation of contracting the transverse abdominals. When the transverse abs are held in, you can sit a little bit taller on the sit bones, the crown of the head reaching up towards the sky. The breath can then travel fluidly throughout the body. There is an energy lock that therefore allows the arms and upper body to feel lighter. We know we will be remembering this concept when we are out on the river next - it will definitely help us as we continue to develop our row stroke. Thank you, Karen!
3. Yoga, led by Jenna
We practiced the lotus mudra, or hand position that links to energy channels throughout the body. The lotus flower, strong in its roots, creates a beautiful bloom above water as the petals fan out, opening up to the sky.
By remaining steadfast in our focus and in our mission, we can continue to build upon a strong foundation and create something beautiful as we glide above the surface. Although we are far apart during this time, we know we will all return back to our sport and to the water with more strength, more confidence, and more gratitude.
We are continuously grateful for our weekly check in with the Oarbusters and Freedom Row athletes. Community is so important, especially during this time, and we feel exceptionally grateful for our growing one!
SO appreciative of all of our leaders and all of our athletes who continue to come together and share their positive energy each and every week! D-S-C!
Our Girls Row Stockton team always amazes us, and not just with their athletic performance. As the season continues on a little more unusual this past semester, their camaraderie has been consistent. And without their selflessness and support of one another, I don't even want to know where we'd be! Thanks, girls, for continuing to amaze us just by being YOU! We will all be back on the water soon.
We wanted to share with you a beautiful blog created by GRS athlete Sydney about her gratitude for the sport and this team, especially during quarantine:
Nature. God’s brilliant creation. It’s what surrounds us. Infatuates us.
Humble’s us by what a big God we serve with detail and beauty. I find myself drifting to the San Joaquin Delta. Home to where I row and sweat to death. I miss being on the water, despite the smell; I guess you get used to it after a while, I miss closing my eyes while on a long piece with the company of the boat, the water, and myself. I crave hearing the oars shift when I square up my blades and listening to the wake they make when I push them through the water. I yearn to feel the boat run under me and race the sea-lions swimming alongside...
Read more on Sydney's blog.
We are so excited to share a WONDERFUL opportunity to watch the inspiring 40-minute documentary of Title IX pioneer and two-time Olympian Chris Ernst who together with her Yale women’s rowing team sparked the movement toward equality in women’s athletics. You really don’t want to miss this FREE showing, available using the link below for just three days, Friday April 24th through Sunday, April 26th!
More on “A Hero for Daisy”: In 1976 Yale women’s rowing crew shed their sweats in the Director of Physical Education’s office to reveal the words “Title IX” marked on their naked bodies. Accompanied by a photographer and newspaper editor, that’s what this crew did to get the public’s attention about the inequities they suffered when, wet and chilled to the bone after practices, they had to wait on a campus bus for the men’s team to finish showering. Then they got to be transported back to their dorms so they, too, could finally shower and change into warm, dry clothes. That’s just the beginning of the story that sparked a movement from which women athletes are finally benefitting. The bravery and foresight of that crew and their captain Chris Ernst, whom former Secretary of State John Kerry called “the Rosa Parks of Title IX”, comes alive in “A Hero for Daisy”, a must-see documentary for anyone who cares about equal rights.
From Friday April 24th through Sunday April 26th, watch this documentary produced by Olympic rower Mary Mazzio FOR FREE using this link here !!!
That was Mazzio’s first film in rowing and it foreshadows another of her movies coming to us soon!
Don’t miss Mazzio’s most recent documentary “A Most Beautiful Thing” that premiered in Congress just before the COVID crisis hit. Postponed till June 12th for wide distribution, “A Most Beautiful Thing” is based on a book by Arshay Cooper, and it’s getting rave reviews! It documents the unbelievable challenges faced by the author and his teammates, who comprised the first all-black rowing crew in the country.
Stay tuned as we post updates on the wide release of “A Most Beautiful Thing”. You really won’t want to miss it!