DC Strokes Rowing Club
DC Strokes Rowing Club (DCSRC) is committed to building an inclusive environment, fostering personal growth, and promoting a spirit of sportsmanship. DCSRC programs offer opportunities for all rowers, regardless of experience level. Today, DCSRC is one of only a handful of dedicated, independent LGBTQ+ rowing clubs in the world, along with the Chicago Rowing Union, the San Francisco Bay Blades, and the Melbourne Argonauts in Australia.
The team began in 1991 with eight gay runners looking for a cross-training activity, some old rented equipment, and a lot of enthusiasm. It took only two or three years for the team to grow into a cohesive organization that was competing regularly and ready to make the commitment to purchase racing shells and other equipment. Originally rowing on the Potomac River, DCSRC became a proud member of the Anacostia Community Boathouse in 2004 and now rows on the Anacostia River. DCSRC is also a member organization of USRowing Association.
DCSRC holds fast to the conviction that LGBTQ+ rowers can be formidable athletes and competitors. Our goal is for DCSRC to be a platform for competitive success and to increase the profile of LGBT rowers in the rowing community while promoting a spirit of camaraderie amongst our members. Our programs are open to all rowers, and we aspire foremost to create a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ rowers and their allies.
Building on a legacy of inclusion as the Nation’s oldest LGBTQ+ rowing club, DC Strokes Rowing Club offers access to the competitive sport of rowing to people of all backgrounds and athletic abilities in the greater Washington, DC area at their home in the Anacostia River by:
- Providing an opportunity for people to learn, develop, compete, and succeed in a supportive environment,
- Developing outreach programs that promote general fitness, rowing, and environmental stewardship to individuals who might otherwise not have such opportunities,
- Empowering and raising the visibility of LGBTQ+ athletes.
Statement of Inclusion and Transgender and Non-Binary Identity Policy
Building on our spirit of inclusivity, the DC Strokes Board of Directors developed this policy to ensure that DC Strokes is on the forefront of advocacy with regards to transgender and non-binary athletes, especially with regards to the following:
- DC Strokes Rowing Club shall proactively ensure that we are welcoming and prepared to incorporate members with transgender and nonbinary identities (gender-neutral, genderqueer, etc.) by ensuring that our coaches are familiar with US Rowing Rules regarding participation by transgender athletes, coaches are sensitive to coaching transgender and non-binary individuals, and all teammates are welcoming and inviting of their peers.
- DC Strokes Rowing Club shall ensure and emphasize sensitivity with regards to components or our programs and shall not create any positions (e.g. team captains) or subsets thereof that would place emphasis on or discriminate against any individual on the basis of gender identity or gender expression, except as necessitated by US Rowing Rules and Regulations (e.g. racing lineups).
- DC Strokes Rowing Club shall ensure that any special programs are welcoming of all individuals whose identity or expression aligns with the focus of the program (e.g. women’s program).
- DC Strokes Rowing Club shall encourage the use of personal pronouns. To this end, we have updated our members’ profiles to provide appropriate options for gender and personal pronoun.
If any member or coach (1) is a victim of harassment or discrimination or (2) is made aware of harassment or discrimination against another member or coach, it shall be immediately reported to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall promptly intervene, taking appropriate action to resolve the issue.
Ensuring that our programs are welcoming to all individuals is a core value of our organization, and DC Strokes Rowing is proud to serve, encourage, and promote the accomplishments of all athletes!
DC Strokes Rowing Club is the oldest and largest LGBTQ+ rowing club in the country. The club began in 1991 with eight members of the DC Front Runners running group looking for a cross-training activity. With some old rented equipment and a lot of enthusiasm, it took only three years for the team to grow into a cohesive, independent organization that was competing regularly and ready to make the commitment to purchase racing shells and other equipment. DCSRC had over 50 active members by 1994.
As the club grew, its mission also grew to include a commitment to bridging gaps between communities by building an inclusive environment, fostering personal growth, and promoting the true spirit of sportsmanship. DCSRC programs offer opportunities for rowers of all experience levels regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or income.
Originally rowing on the Potomac River, DCSRC moved to the Anacostia River and became a proud member of the Anacostia Community Boathouse Association (ACBA) in 2004. DCSRC is a member organization of USRowing, the national governing body for the sport of Rowing in the United States.
DC Strokes Rowing Club puts on the annual Stonewall Regatta, which is the traditional opening regatta of the Sprint Season in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Stonewall Regatta began in 1994 during preparations for Gay Games IV in New York City. About a year before the Games, DCSRC learned the host committee for the NYC Games was dropping rowing from the sports line-up. In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village in 1969, considered the start of the gay civil rights movement, this event was named "Stonewall Regatta." The event was such a success that DCSRC decided to bring it home to Washington, D.C., where it has since been held every June. The event typically coincides with DC Pride festivities.