Holyoke Rows reaches beyond the traditional rowing population and makes passive river recreation accessible to the entire community by eliminating the physical, financial and social barriers to participating in our programs.
Holyoke Rows is a non-profit community organization located at Jones Ferry River Access Center along the Connecticut River in Holyoke. It was founded by Stephanie Moore in 2000 with the goal to offer a rowing program open to everyone.
This organization believes in the positive influence of sports. Rowing fosters leadership skills, individual confidence and teamwork to achieve success. Holyoke Rows is committed to the overall preservation of our community. Rowing is a low impact environmentally friendly sport and through its capacity to engage multiple populations – youth to seniors, beginners to experienced, able-bodied to those with challenges – helps to strengthen ties within communities.
We believe the benefits and opportunities rowing offers should be available to any who seek them. We hope our boathouse can be a welcoming and safe place to experience personal growth and fulfillment, and to enjoy the Connecticut River.
Nice? It’s the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing… he went on dreamily: messing about… in… boats; messing…
– Kenneth Grahame from The Wind in the Willows
Stephanie Moore, director/coach
Stephanie coached college rowing for 10 years at UVa, FIT, UMass and Trinity before shifting her focus to community rowing. For the past 18 years she has been working with the City of Holyoke and the community to develop an active waterfront in Holyoke.
Ciara Prieto, high school coach
Ciara started with Holyoke Rows as a high school rower and coxswain. Throughout the years she has been a coxswain for the masters program and an AmeriCorps volunteer with the high school program and camps. She is currently finishing up her Associates Degree from HCC before heading to Westfield State and coaching our high school team.
Jeanne Branchaud, coach/assistant/volunteer
Jeanne brings years of administrative and teaching experience to the boat house. She fills in any where we need a hand – on the water, in the office or in the boat bays.