Story by Darl Devault, Contributing Editor
Registration is now open for the 2023 Spring Season for Veterans Rowing, Dragon Boating, and Whitewater Rafting Teams to train and compete at RIVERSPORT, an official Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in downtown Oklahoma City on the Oklahoma River.
A RIVERSPORT Warrior is a Veteran 18 years or older who has served honorably in the military. Veterans with a military service connection can participate for free.
No paddle sports experience is necessary. New to paddle sports Veteran participants are encouraged to register. Participants will practice on the downtown Oklahoma River with RIVERSPORT coaches once a week until the Spring Season competition event.
The Warrior participants will train in rowing, whitewater rafting, or dragon boating to compete in the upcoming Stars & Stripes River Festival on June 24. Teams will compete against other novice teams at the OG&E NightSprints under the lights that evening.
“RIVERSPORT Warriors gives veterans with a disability a concrete way to reclaim their ability to be physically active in a team sport and in the process, helps restore a sense of hope for the future,” said Jamie Collazo, USMC Veteran and RIVERSPORT veterans program coordinator. “The social support, team camaraderie and feeling of accomplishment are irreplaceable. The increase in physical activity is a bonus.”
Warriors rowing practice will be held 10-11:30 a.m. Thursday mornings at the Chesapeake Boathouse in the Boathouse District until June 24. The fee is $250 or free for veterans with a service connection.
Warriors whitewater rafting practice will be 6-7:30 pm on Thursday evenings, May 18 to June 24, at the McClendon Whitewater Center in the Boathouse District. The fee is $200 or free for veterans with a service connection. Participants will practice on the RIVERSPORT Rapids with a professional raft guide once a week for a six-week season.
Warriors dragon boating practice will be from 6-7:30 pm on Wednesday evenings until June 24 at the Chesapeake Boathouse in the Boathouse District. The fee is $175 or free for veterans with a service connection.
Registration is open for the 2023 spring season. New participants are encouraged to register.
These coach-led practices will provide Veteran paddle sports participants of all experience levels the opportunity to work together and compete against other novice teams on the Oklahoma River and RIVERSPORT Rapids.
For more information or to sign up, contact Jamie Collazo at (405) 552-4040 ext 4992