Formed in 1980, Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing (PAR)—formerly known as Philadelphia Rowing Program for the Disabled (PRPD)—is the host club for the BAYADA Regatta and a leader in the movement to make the sport of rowing available to everyone. Chris Blackwall—executive director of the National Association of Amateur Oarsmen at the time (now known as USRowing)—founded the club in 1980 with the help of Dolly Driscoll and Isabel Bohn—current board president. PAR has been instrumental in the development of adaptive rowing (para-rowing) and in 1990, changed its equipment from catamarans to all rowing shells, transforming the sport and making a huge difference in the quality of adaptive rowing.
Staffed by volunteers from a variety of backgrounds, PAR provides recreational and competitive rowing opportunities for individuals with disabilities at any skill level. PAR trains its athletes competing in the BAYADA Regatta at its facilities on the Schuylkill River, and many PAR rowers have successfully competed and placed in the International Rowing Federation (FISA) World Rowing Championships and the Paralympics. Currently, approximately 50 rowers participate in the club.
PAR is a program of the Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports (PCAS), a non-profit organization that provides adapted sport and recreation programs for people with disabilities. Other PCAS programs include cycling, skiing, climbing, kayaking, and ice hockey.
If you are interested in joining PAR or PCAS as either a participant or volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.