Alumni Capital Campaign

SRA expansion as a Premier Rowing Destination

 Class of 2005

Online fundraising for SRA expansion as premier rowing destination

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The Mission:

Through the sport of rowing, SRA strives to have a positive impact on the greater community including: our town, the rowing community, our team, and the families involved.

How Regattas Meet Our Purpose:

Regattas are intimately tied to the SRA organization. Allowing the SRA athletes to compete at home in front of family and friends helps to sew the sport of rowing and SRA into the local culture. The thousands of volunteer hours necessary to run the regattas serve a dual purpose, not only do they permit these regattas to happen, it also creates common ground between teenage athletes and the parents who also become invested in the sport - turning high school rowers into rowing families. In addition to creating common ground for families, the regattas create community amongst the families involved as the parents volunteer together and though they come from every cross section of Saratoga, they share these many experiences with each other as well as their children. Additionally, the hosting of the regattas, while time consuming, keeps the cost of entry into this sport and this organization low. By racing at home so often, the families save hundreds of dollars in travel fees, and SRA is able to leverage the many volunteer hours of the families to offset the costs of running the club and never turn anyone away for financial reasons. Finally, the last but not least significant positive impact of the regattas is the economic impact on the local community. According to the last economic impact study, the regattas have an economic impact of $5.1 million dollars each year. The regattas at Saratoga are not only intimately tied to our mission, they also provide SRA the leverage with which to have such significant positive impact. As we invest additionally in these regattas and transform SRA into a premier regatta destination, that leverage will continue to increase and enable SRA to move mountains and change landscapes as we continue to focus on positively impacting the community.

The Project:

  1. For the past 10 years, SRA has been looking for a permanent piece of property on which to host its regattas. While the space at Lees Park has been a great spot, the expansion of the park would not guarantee the continuation of the regattas on the space. Committed to being a premier rowing destination in the country, SRA has also been looking for a way to build up the infrastructure surrounding the regattas - until the regattas were secure and permanent, it was hard to invest any deeper into them. The new property, combined with the NY State boat launch will provide adequate parking to host the regattas. Further investment in the regattas will include race course upgrades, state of the art time-lapse photography for timing, and enhancements to the spectator experience.
  2. In addition to the land necessary to park trailers for the regattas, the building on the property is to be renovated to provide permanent regatta infrastructure including regatta storage, registration offices, communications station, emergency warm room, computations and timing and results headquarters, Trophy and awards storage and pickup.
  3. Beyond the regatta usage, the building will be renovated to incorporate showers and locker rooms and parking for the SRA teams in addition to necessary additional indoor training space and general storage for winter training equipment. The land will be used to train our 7th and 8th grade rowers for their weekly off water land training. (one day a week is currently dedicated to each grade/gender of the middle school rowers for land work to focus on games and general athleticism)
  4. Finally, there is space available for renovation into apartments capable of housing SRA coaches and visiting coaches - allowing SRA to expand the coaching staff by offering housing as part of the compensation package.
  5. One final benefit of the project is the open space that can be made accessible to the public for community relations. Outside of regatta weekends, we anticipate using the property as a park to house picnics, farmers market, and a base for other water sport events.

We at SRA see this project as a necessary in order to secure the regattas in Saratoga and ensure the continuation of SRAs business model. Along with this security, as described above, the additional benefits of the project will support and encourage the continued growth of SRA and the SRA athlete experience.