BY LUKE REYNOLDS
Joining the rowing community’s response to events happening across the United States, rowing brand, Fat Ergos, has organized a fundraiser to support rowing programs that have robust diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“Given the recent racial conflicts highlighted by the killing of George Floyd, we felt it was our responsibility to use our reach and platform to address these issues within the rowing community,” Patrick Muto, co-founder of Fat Ergos, said.
“Rowing has historically been a white-dominated sport, and our goal is to break that stigma for the new generation of rowing. We feel the all-in challenge allows members and organizations of the rowing community to contribute in many ways (via donation, submitting a prize, or spreading awareness of the initiative) to help begin addressing these issues directly.”
Funds raised from the event will go to several rowing programs including Row New York, Row Boston, RowLA, Reach High Rowing (Baltimore), North Star Community Rowing (Minneapolis), Chicago Training Center, Milwaukee Rowing Club, and Philadelphia City Rowing.
“We feel like it’s important to keep the proceeds within the rowing community and to know exactly where the money is going,” Muto said. “We are proud to donate this money to several rowing programs that work to foster diversity and inclusion within underprivileged areas.”
“We are proud to donate this money to several rowing programs that work to foster diversity and inclusion within underprivileged areas.”
Prizes for the challenge include a virtual meetup with the US Olympic Women, a model D Concept2 erg, a U.S. national team uniform, and VIPER sunglasses, among other things.
Muto said he was pleased with the donations that have come in but hopes for more.
“As of right now [Monday afternoon], we are just over $2,150, which has been strong for the 3 days the challenge has been open,” Muto said.
“We’ve gotten donations from over 110 individuals and had several companies reach out with prizes to offer. We initially set a goal of $10,000, but we would love to move right through that goal and raise even more.”
“We appreciate all the support the rowing community has given this initiative. It is very important to us and we feel very lucky to be in the position we are in to spread awareness and facilitate change in the sport,” he said.
Winners from the event will be selected July 1.