Yukon Middle School students will have the opportunity to take up a unique sport.
The Oklahoma Boathouse Foundation’s Youth Rowing League added their newest chapter. The Yukon Area Middle School Rowing Club will cater to sixth-through-eighth grade students in the Yukon community.
The Yukon branch will be the League’s 15th. As of right now, around 140 to 150 students from around the Oklahoma City area are participating in the league.
Unlike many of the teams involved, Yukon’s division will have no affiliation with Yukon Public Schools. Instead, the Youth Rowing League set up a separate organization, much like the one in Mustang.
“We’re trying to work it like we do the Mustang area rowing club,” Youth Rowing League coordinator Gena Terrill said. “Some schools do not allow us to be a part of their school system. They’re not school-sponsored like the Oklahoma City schools. We go around that by developing a club for them outside the school. We started that with Mustang, and it’s become really successful.
“We are trying to move out to other areas to provide kids the opportunity.”
Terrill said Yukon was a prime area for their next chapter due to the close proximity to Lake Overholser which has a boathouse.
“We’re trying to, because we’re getting so big here on he river, allow for more access to the sport. To do that, Overholser is a perfect area. It’s a smaller venue with a little more freedom in the schedule. So we’re trying to expand out that way those kids are closer to Overholser,” she said.
Rowing has been growing since its inception in Oklahoma nearly 20 years ago. With the sport making bigger leaps in the 2010’s, its vital for the league to introduce it to children at younger ages.
“If we can grab them when they’re young and provide them with the opportunity and give them the experience,” Terrill said. “We find that either people take a couple strokes and they just become obsessed, it’s just something they have to do. Then there are some who enjoy it. We are trying to introduce it to a younger crowd so they can develop it up through high school and already be active in it.”
To have people in the Yukon area utilizing Oklahoma City’s first boathouse is a positive for the foundation.
“We started at Overholser, that was our very grassroots beginning,” Terrill said. “Not a lot of people knew about it. Mike Knopp, our CEO, was the visionary along with some other well-known names with this idea that, let’s turn the Canadian River into a huge rowing venue and a centralized area for people to come down for one the water activities and off the water activities to become more active.”
Those who are interested in joining should visit riversportokc.com or call 552-4040.