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    Black Regatta Takes Rowing in New Directions

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (August 1, 2023) – The Second Annual River Bowl Classic, hosted by the Oklahoma City Black Alumni Coalition (OBAC), is set to take place on Saturday, August 12, 2023, from 6:00 to 9:00  p.m. at the Devon Boathouse. This exciting event aims to capture the spirit of the Soul Bowl, the classic football rivalry between Millwood and Douglass, while celebrating Oklahoma City’s rich Black culture. 

    The River Bowl Classic brings together alumni from seven high schools located across Oklahoma City:  Frederick A. Douglass, Northwest Classen, John Marshall, Millwood, Northeast (NEA), Star Spencer, and  Southeast. These schools will compete in rowing for the coveted bragging rights on the water. This mul- generational event will also engage community members of all ages in youth kayaking and dragon boat racing events. 

    “We are excited to have so many Black rowers geng involved in the sport,” said Mike Knopp, executive director of RIVERSPORT. “Our vision has always been to bring all sectors of the community together at  the Oklahoma River with rowing as a catalyst for building unity.” 

    “Display your school pride and connect with old friends at the Second Annual River Bowl Classic,” said  Shawntay Alexander, the founder of the River Bowl. “We envision this event to not only be a thrilling companion on the water but also a chance to celebrate our city’s vibrant Black culture and foster a  sense of togetherness.”  

    The River Bowl Classic was first introduced in 2022 when Alexander collaborated with RIVERSPORT to leverage the Boathouse District’s rowing program to bring the Black community together. Inspired by the iconic Soul Bowl, the inaugural event featured four dragon boat teams and three rowing teams, with participants practicing diligently for eight weeks leading up to the August showdown. The first River Bowl attracted over 200 alumni and their families, fostering a strong sense of pride among participants and spectators alike. 

    “As we gear up for the Second Annual River Bowl Classic, we are excited to witness even more enthusiasm and support from our community,” added Alexander. “It’s our Reunion-style event that we  look forward to seeing grow each year ” 

    The River Bowl Classic is open to the public, and attendance is free of charge. Spectators will have the chance to celebrate school spirit and sportsmanship while learning more about rowing, kayaking and dragon boat racing. 

    For more information, visit the official website at river-bowl-classic/. 

    About Oklahoma City Black Alumni Coalition (OBAC) 

    The Oklahoma City Black Alumni Coalition is dedicated to creating a strong network of Black alumni from Oklahoma City schools, fostering connections, and uplifting the community through various initiatives and events. 


    RIVERSPORT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers Olympic and adventure sports, including rowing, kayaking, dragon boating, whitewater racing, skiing, climbing, cycling, adventure courses, high-speed slides, and zip lining in the Boathouse District in downtown Oklahoma City and at Lake Overholser.  As an official US Olympic & Paralympic Training Site, RIVERSPORT develops Olympic Hopefuls in both rowing and canoe/kayak and regularly hosts national and international competitions. The organization’s outreach programs ensure that people from all walks of life, especially those in underserved communities, have access to outdoor sports and recreation. To learn more about RIVERSPORT, visit or call (405) 552-4040.

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