Suncoast Aquatic and Nature Center Associates announced today that Nathan Benderson Park has been chosen to host the 19th annual USRowing Youth National Championships, which will be held June 12 to June 14, 2015.
The USRowing Youth National Championships signify the culmination of the rowing season and traditionally draw more than 1,500 athletes from 150 teams across the country. The event is an invitational championship regatta in which crews must qualify by placing in one of the 18 Youth National Championship events at a qualification regatta, such as last weekend’s USRowing Southeast Junior District Championships, and receive a bid.
“We are truly honored that Nathan Benderson Park was chosen to host this event," says Paul Blackketter, chief operating officer for SANCA. “Having the park added to the venue circuit that USRowing and other top organizations use is a true success. It further positions us as a leading venue and will help us attract other major events in the future.”
Through a competitive bid process, Nathan Benderson Park was chosen for the venue itself as well as its staff. USRowing has been a partner and supporter of Nathan Benderson Park since 2012. The park has already held five USRowing events.
“USRowing is extremely confident in the capabilities and management of Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA). In our experience, this organizing committee exceeds expectations and delivers great events,” USRowing CEO Glenn Merry says. “Paul Blackketter and his team combine a tremendous new world-class venue with excellent volunteers, professionalism and great hospitality that results in a best-in-class experience for rowers.”
The Sarasota Crew men’s varsity 8+ won the national title last year and will look to defend their title again this year. Both the Crew and Sarasota Scullers qualified boats for this year’s national championships in California.
“Having national and international events held at Nathan Benderson Park is fantastic for the sport of rowing. It helps keep the sport in the spotlight and keeps people aware and engaged,” Sarasota Crew head coach Casey Galvanek says. “With the promotion of the park and the large events that have been hosted there, I’ve seen our high school team grow from 42 kids to 172 this year. Interest is growing, and it’s great for our local kids.”
“I think this is the natural progression for such a great venue. Going from the state level to now the national level and then moving on to the 2017 world championships, it makes sense,” says Dragos Alexandru, program director and head coach for the Sarasota Scullers. “I’m very happy that my team and the region will be able to experience these events and that they will help put Sarasota-Bradenton on the map as the place to be for rowing.”
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].