Philadelphia City Rowing and Temple University Partnership aims to Teach Swimming and Save Lives

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- May 20, 2016 – A new program aimed at promoting self-esteem and preventing drowning in underserved populations is the result of a new partnership between Philadelphia City Rowing (PCR) and Temple University’s College of Public Health (CPH).  “All rowers must pass a swim test” said PCR Executive Director Terry Dougherty.  “Since PCR began, there haven’t been many opportunities to enroll those who couldn’t pass the swim test in lessons and this collaboration will allow us to not only teach a a critical life skill but incorporate positive youth development activities as well.

The program, called “A Stoke in the Right Direction”, is geared towards middle school and high school students in Philadelphia. Led by kinesiology faculty and students at CPH, the program aims to teach hard skills that can save lives by fostering character development and life skills.  This Swim to Row Collaborative Program will be designed to promote the basics of rowing, water safety and lifesaving skills to prevent drowning in minority communities said Professor Angela Beale. 

Program leaders will be armed with the skills needed to combat the health and wellness challenges facing youth (i.e. obesity, unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, childhood asthma, type II diabetes, and risky health behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drug use and unprotected sex) in low-income, predominantly minority communities. “A Stoke in the Right Direction” will begin when the school year ends with the hope of continuing the program throughout the academic year.

This collaboration, supported by the American Red Cross, will allow students enrolled in this summer’s “Learn to Row” from middle school and high school participants in PCR to receive certified swim instruction along with positive youth development programming. 

About Philadelphia City Rowing: 

Philadelphia City Rowing seeks to empower local public school students through the sport of rowing. It was established in 2010 and its objectives are to: establish a Public School Rowing Team that is competitive locally, regionally and nationally, and creates the opportunity for participants to pursue rowing at the collegiate level and beyond; use competitive rowing as a vehicle to improve the health, well-being, self-confidence and academic success of Philadelphia’s public school students; involve participants in one of Philadelphia’s greatest sporting traditions. Additional information is available at

Media Contact: Jim Delorenzo, Jim DeLorenzo Public Relations, 215-266-5943,