The newly formed Holston Rowing Club is currently the only club in East Tennessee and the only club between Ashville, North Carolina, and Oak Ridge Tennessee. This club has the potential to feed trained rowers into the rowing programs of both the University of Tennessee and Clemson University. The lack of funds is currently limiting further expansion of membership, the club’s ability to begin new rower programs, and allow more than a few members to row at a time.
In the summer of 2018, a diverse group of ex-collegiate rowers formed the Holston Rowing Club in partnership with Warriors State Park and the Friends of Warriors Path, a 501C9 charitable organization. Warriors State Park is located in Kingsport, Tennessee. It is situated on the edge of Patrick Henry Lake. The rowing area is more than 1000 meters of protected water and the lake extends for about 10 miles of smooth water. The club was able to obtain two used singles from the Lookout Rowing Club and build an enclosure and boat racks. Additionally, a club member is allowing the club to use an open water recreational single. At present, only three members can be on the water at any time. The club has found a used double and a used four but lacks funding to obtain the boats. A longer term goal of the club is to obtain a used eight which would allow a larger group of members on the water. Because the boats have been found atvery low cost, most also require some degree of restoration. It is the club’s intent to use experienced repair facilities in Tennessee to do the restoration as funds are available.
The boats are currently water launched as the club does not have a dock. This situation limits the rowing season as water temperatures must be at safe levels in order to launch the boats. In principle, the State Park supports the installation of a dock, but approval by State of Tennessee and by the Tennessee Valley Authority, owner of the lake, will be required. This process cannot even begin until funds are available to complete the project.
The enclosure at Warriors State Park is a simple chain link fence that can be padlocked. Although the boats are properly secured on a rack and covered, exposure to the weather is not optimal. The enclosure is also 100 yards from the waters edge. A long-term goal of the club is to build a properly equipped boat house adjacent to the dock.
In order of priority, our funding request is as follows: 1. $3,000 for the purchase of a used double and four and oars. These boats have been found and may be lost unless funds become available. 2. $15,000 for the purchase and installation of a dock. 3. $5,000 for the purchase of used eight with oars. 4. $5,000 for restoration of the boats. The double and four will be restored before the singles. This is an opportunity for rowers all across the country to support development of a program in an area where rowing has never gained a foothold. Given the success of the Ashville Rowing Club and the Oak Ridge Rowing Club, we believe that our beloved sport can establish a significant presence in East Tennessee. Help us jump start this program. All contributions will be tax deductible through the Friends of Warriors Path.