Dear Friends of Rowing,
I am writing to inform you where Aviron Knowlton Rowing (AKR) stands in February 2023.
AKR began rowing in Knowlton in 2018, with four borrowed boats at the Marina. In 2022, over 50 adults and over 150 youth rowed with us. We are operating from Douglass Beach where we house our boats and we have a new dock designed especially for sculls. AKR is the fastest-growing club in Quebec. Thank you for your support.
Our vision of using rowing to strengthen Brome Lake’s economic and social community is on track. Youth rowing is the key to this vision.
In 2021, AKR had over 80 children rowing. In 2022, we had over 150. Twenty-two went on to row for 15 hours in summer camps, and five rowed all summer. Four of these students are training year-round. One has just won gold in the Quebec indoor rowing championship. Our work with schools has helped Aviron Quebec launch a new provincial program designed to bring school rowing to every Quebec community close to water.
Why is school rowing so important? As you all know, rowing is more than exercise. It helps children develop a strong body and a resilient character. Rowing helps the whole development of a child.
Many funders share this view of the value of School Rowing. It is why the CARKE Foundation financed a new dock. It is why the Town of Brome Lake gave AKR access to Douglass Beach and the use of the tent. It is why the Brome Missisquoi MRC and the Lions Club of Knowlton have financed the operations of school rowing. As a result of this support for our youth, all our rowers benefit.
So what about the future?
New boats – We plan to acquire at least six new training boats. That will give us eight first-class boats in the fleet. There may also be a “Quad” that seats four rowers.
Without this new fleet, we would have to stop rowing. It’s that simple.
With this new fleet, we can expand the opportunity for Members to row whenever the boats are available. The Quad will add to the spirit of community that is so important in our sport and help expand our coaching capacity. These boats will have an operational life of at least 15 years. Expanding and upgrading our fleet will cost about $10,000 a year for the next four years.
Boathouse – AKR is in final negotiations to acquire a site for a Boathouse. Currently, we have to winter the boats in a rented barn and transport them to and from the beach in spring and fall. In a boathouse, the new boats will be safe, all year round. Indoor training will be possible year-round as needed. The Boathouse will also be the social centre for the club.
Finances – We plan to launch a fundraising campaign soon to raise most of the funds needed to build out our fleet and infrastructure. AKR has had a good track record for fundraising. In the last five years, we have raised over $80,000 of which nearly $40,000 was from two private donors.
AKR must also have the margins required to support the expanded operations of a larger and more mature club. At AKR, we have kept our pricing low during our start-up phase. Now we need to charge what mature clubs have been charging for some time. In the next three years, AKR will bring our rates up to the market rates charged by mature clubs.
Here is our pricing for the 2023 season.
|Renewing Adult Members||$200||Includes Association fees, Insurance for the year and Taxes|
|New Adult Members “Come and Try”||$65||A group “Come and Try” that will assess you and also give you the experience of rowing – Includes tax and Insurance for the event|
|New Adult Member Post Try Out||$135 ($200 less $65 “Come and Try” fee)||Includes Association Fees, Insurance and Taxes|
|Youth Camps||$300 for 15 hours||Includes Membership, Association Fees, Annual Insurance – may be eligible for an RL24 Tax rebate|
|Group Lesson 5||$300||Block of five 90-minute group lessons @$60 each – Members only|
|Group Lesson 10||$500||Block of ten 90-minute group lessons @ $50 each – Members only|
|Boat Storage Season||$300||Subject to space available – For the season payable in advance – Members only|
|Boat Storage Monthly||$100||Subject to space available – Payable in advance – Members only|