We, Potomac Boat Club, are deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many other victims of racial injustice and inequality. Together we recognize their deaths and grieve with our community. We join you in standing with our community against any form of racism, prejudice, or bigotry. We acknowledge that rowing communities consist of predominantly white and privileged individuals, which contrasts sharply with the underprivileged communities most harmed by the lack of formal acknowledgment or support by privileged society.
Generations of high school, recreational, masters, and Olympic level athletes have called us ‘home’ over the last 150 years in Washington DC. The mission of Potomac is the “… mutual improvement of its members and the maintenance and encouragement of the art of water sports among amateurs.” We have the opportunity to meet this moment and to identify the ways in which we can more fully act on our mission of mutual improvement. PBC is committed to being a part of a better future in the sport of rowing, for Washington, DC and for our future generations.
We are proud of our programs, who are coordinating with local and national programs in support for the Black Lives Matter cause. This weekend our programs are participating in the 8:46 Stars & Stripes Virtual Erg Challenge for George Floyd with our sister club Riverside Boat Club and DeMatha Crew in support of various organizations. Our members are using their voices by contributing to public service projects, engagement in a variety of causes, and in helping PBC take actionable steps towards inclusion.
We are in a pivotal moment in our history and one that requires consideration, growth, and lasting impact. Instead of resting on hollow words, we will focus on action. To commit fully to a better future, we must take concrete and lasting action. One of our first steps is to highlight the existence of our need-based scholarships for our summer Junior and U23 Programs. Cost is a major hurdle for inclusion and, while PBC already provides such assistance, we can better present this option for athletes who are considering our programs.
The Board will continue this momentum by considering strategic steps and opportunities to further inclusion in our club by dedicating time during the June Board of Governors Meeting to this topic.
The Board of Governors of the Potomac Boat Club