Evansville watersports club showcases rowing program for individuals with physical disabilities

Updated: Oct. 25, 2020 at 9:25 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Sunday was a cold one to be out on the water, but that’s exactly what some were doing on Evansville’s east side, as Evansville Adaptive Watersports showcased its new rowing team on Dunn Lake.

Phillip Jacobs launched the idea with the $10,000 he was awarded from the University of Evansville’s Changemaker Challenge.

Evansville Adaptive Watersports has partnered with the YMCA, who helps train these athletes, as well as Special Olympics Indiana, who recruits participants.

Sunday’s exhibition was the first sneak peek of the program, which club members hope will pique the interest of many more people.

“In 2018, I was injured in a construction accident and was paralyzed from the chest down. Once I got hurt, I turned to sports to stay healthy," rowing participant Collin Sallee said. "Actually, rowing is considered one of the most physically active sports and workouts there is, so it’s a full-body workout, and when you’re on the boat - it’s no different.”

“I was born with spina bifida, so I’ve been in a wheelchair my whole life," rowing participant Gavin Provost said. “When you’re out doing adaptive sports, you feel like an able-bodied person, and it’s so great to be able to inspire people.”

EAW was modeled from the Louisville Rowing Club’s adaptive rowing team.

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