National Learn to Row Day 2021 Is June 5: Visit Your Local Boat Club

Saturday, June 5, 2021, marks the 20th annual celebration of National Learn to Row Day, an occasion sponsored by U.S. Rowing in an effort to introduce the wonderful, rewarding sport of rowing to people of all ages and fitness levels.

Though last year’s #NLTRD offerings were understandably limited, this year organizers are dialing up the efforts with safe, educational, and fun virtual and in-person programming. In fact, U.S. Rowing is expanding the 2021 observation to National Learn to Row Week, providing free webinars and virtual erg classes from June 1 to 4.

As a company founded by rowers for rowers, RowingPad is passionate about spreading the good word about our sport and its many benefits. Rowing connects you to nature AND provides a full-body workout. It’s an excellent activity for teenagers in search of a challenge and plenty of camaraderie. And of course, rowing is equally rewarding for adults of all ages—the barriers to entry are low and our community is incredibly welcoming!

Our home state of New Hampshire is a prime region for rowing, with numerous high school and collegiate rowing programs and an abundance of scenic waterways and lakes. With such a rich rowing heritage, many local rowing clubs go to great lengths to connect with potential new participants in their communities and make rowing accessible for all. Check out our roundup of regional Learn to Row events taking place June 5, 2021. (Tell them your friends at RowingPad sent you!)

Looking to row in another beautiful corner of the country? Use U.S. Rowing’s map to locate a boat club near you and check out the offerings for new rowers. 

If ever there were a year to embrace the freedom of the outdoors and pursue a new activity you have always been curious about, 2021 is certainly it! Happy rowing to all for this year’s Learn to Row. And always remember to grab your RowingPad boat or erg pad before setting off on your next rowing adventure.


Join the Great Bay Rowing Club at the Dover Boathouse on River Street from 3 to 6 p.m. on June 5. (You might see a friendly face from RowingPad there too!) Along the banks of the Cocheco River, GBR coaches and athletes will provide tours of the docks and boathouse, teach the basics of the rowing stroke on the erg (rowing machine), and get willing participants out in a boat to test their new skills on the water. This wonderful local club offers everything from learn-to-row programs and sculling classes for juniors (grades 8 through 12) and adults to competitive racing for all ages and levels. It also has adaptive rowing equipment available. Registration required. Sign up here for a one-hour time slot.


Those along the more northern reaches of the Merrimack River have a great rowing resource in the Amoskeag Rowing Club, which operates out of their boathouse in Hooksett. Plans are under way for Learn to Row Day 2021, but the club suggests checking in with them to get the most up-to-date details, due to changing Covid-19 safety guidance. ARC is planning to hold their event a week after the national observance, so mark your calendar for Saturday, June 12. From 9 to 11 a.m., you can stop by for an open house, tour of the facilities, and some instruction on rowing technique, then hop into a boat for a free little on-water lesson. Who knows? You might want to sign up for one of the adult or junior learn-to-row sculling programs on the spot and find yourself participating in the annual Blue Heron Regatta come August.


To celebrate Learn to Row 2021, this nonprofit, competitive regional rowing team based on the Merrimack will be holding an open house and free rowing experience for middle and high school students. If you have a young person in your life who has expressed interest in rowing, Concord Crew and its youth programming (for boys and girls in grades 8 through 12) is a top choice for them to learn sweep oar and sculling technique. event from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 5. Stop by on Saturday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to take a tour of the boathouse (located at 15 Loudon Road), talk to the coaches, try out the rowing machines, and even head out on the water with some of the club’s experienced rowers and coxswains to get a feel for the sport.


Looking for a more in-depth introduction to rowing? Check out Squam Community Rowing’s 3-session Learn to Row program for 2021, which kicks off with a first lesson on Saturday, June 5. This excellent local club was established in 2013 to bring together individuals with a passion for rowing, maintain lifelong fitness and protect the natural beaut and peaceful character of Squam Lake. But in an area defined by its beautiful bodies of water, the cost seems well worth it to explore rowing—and it includes your lesson that day, plus 3 additional sessions with an experienced rower, and the fee can be applied to a yearly membership should you choose to join. Advance registration is required, so claim your spot now to test the waters and consider becoming a part of this growing rowing organization. (Rain date: Sunday, June 6)


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