For over 50 straight years, the Aggies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have taken their quest for knowledge to the Connecticut River. These young men and women learn concepts that are absent from the cutting edge curriculum of the University. Through the venerable sport of rowing, athletes come to understand the value of discipline, teamwork, and personal purpose. While a 5 am wake up seems brutal to most, an Aggie is grateful for that early morning opportunity to work with their peers on a common goal, ensuring each stroke is better than the last.
Along with the physical and mental demands of the sport, the club requires some rowers to take an administrative role to manage a tight budget while allowing the team to be competitive and safe. Through the years, the cost of living and especially rowing has increased in the Hampshire County area, meaning we need to pay our staff more, and we spend more on outsourced labor such as launch repairs. This, along with a constricted budget from the university, means we often need to look beyond our already high dues and the Student Government for revenue.
The team has a myriad of strategies to raise additional funds, including the Rent a Rower program various grant applications, and a yearly raffle fundraiser. While we are mainly self-sustaining, our wonderful alumni network plays a huge role in increasing our speed through funding. In fact, just last year the alumni and parents played a massive role in our dock fundraiser, saving the entire program from an unforeseen disaster by raising over $36,000 for a removable replacement, pictured below!
Being supported by our alumni strengthens the immense pride rowers have for the program. However, these periodical fundraisers do not accurately reflect the cost of running a top-level club rowing team. Expenses like transportation, housing, ergs, launch engines, trailer maintenance, and top-notch coaching staff stack up beyond what rowers can provide. In fact, we constantly find desperate ways to keep costs low, to the point where our first freshman eight rows a hull older than the crew itself!
Thanks so much for supporting the mission of UMass Men's Rowing, creating a culture that fosters leadership and hard working outlooks on life!