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Throughout the month of April, PCR will be hosting our 3rd annual #PCR10kChallenge campaign. PCR student-athletes, coaches, volunteers, and board members will join together with a goal of rowing, erging, or running 5,000,000 meters and engaging 500 participants in the challenge. Every dollar raised will support PCR’s high-dosage sport-based youth development programs that work to empower students in the Philadelphia School District to reach their highest potential. 

Inspired by our student athlete’s passion for environmental justice, Earth Month, and PCR’s organizational commitment to being good community members and stewards of the Schuylkill River and surrounding parkland, this year’s 10k challenge will also have a sustainability and environmental stewardship component. In addition to highlighting PCR’s core program and mission, the challenge will feature daily sustainability tips that people can incorporate into their daily training routine and will highlight some of the environmental justice issues that plague our community and directly affect our participants' overall health and wellness. 

How to Participate:
Individuals taking part will be tasked with the following:

1) ACCEPT: Accept the challenge by erging, rowing, cycling, running, walking, or swimming 10,000 meters. 

2) DOCUMENT YOUR 10K: Take a sweaty selfie upon completing your workout and/or while taking action to protect your local environment/community (picking up trash, recycling, using a reusable water bottle, biking to work, etc.). 

3) UPLOAD: Upload your photo to social media and challenge at least three of your friends or family members to also participate in the challenge by tagging them in your post.  Make sure you also to tag #PCR10kChallenge and @philadelphiacityrowing! 

4) GIVE: Head to PayPal or Venmo (username: @PhilaCityRowing) to support our programs and help us bring this life-changing sport to public school youth throughout Philadelphia.


We hope we can count on your support as we work to share rowing with all young Philadelphians and empower them to reach their greatest potential! Additional information about the campaign, FAQs, and sample posts can be found below. If you have any further questions, please reach out to


Kids erging


What is Philadelphia City Rowing?

PCR is more than just a rowing program – we are a high dosage, high support, youth development organization that seeks to empower our students both on and off the water. Public school students in Philadelphia have historically been excluded from the broader river community, the sport of rowing, and the benefits it provides in terms of personal development, social capital, upward mobility, and connections to high achieving supporters. PCR’s programs work to break down the physical, financial, and systemic barriers of entry into the sport of rowing and mitigate some of the negative social and economic determinants of health faced by PSD students. We believe that by providing positive youth development experiences and rewarding out-of-school time activities, we can positively change the long-term trajectory of students and help them live full, healthy, and successful lives.

We offer three distinct programs each of which provides healthy snacks, team uniforms, swimming instruction, and public transportation tokens to eliminate the financial burden of participation on families and to ensure students have everything they need to succeed.

High-Dosage High School Racing Team - PCR’s high school racing program brings Philadelphia Public School students out of their neighborhoods and onto the Schuylkill River, creating a safe place for them to find their strengths, grow together as a team, and make college a reality. Practices take place six days per week throughout the school year, and include tutoring and academic support, mentoring, rowing and fitness instruction, and local and regional racing opportunities.

Middle School Program - Our middle school program serves students in 7th and 8th grade and meets three days per week for 8 weeks each season. Students learn the basics of the rowing stroke and are engaged in games and other activities that promote overall health and wellbeing. Nutrition education, environmental education, and swim lessons are an integral part of the programs.

Summer Learn-to-Row Camps - These two-week-long camps serve students in grades 7 through 12 and provide a safe, fun, and experiential introduction to the sport. Various enrichment activities are offered and the program culminates in an intra-squad race. Both our middle school program and summer camp serve as feeders to our high dosage high school program.

What services do you provide outside of just rowing?

In addition to our rowing programs, we provide the following support services for all our student-athletes:

  • College and career counseling
  • Academic support, subject-specific tutoring, and SAT prep
  • Swimming and water safety instruction
  • Environmental education
  • Community service and civic engagement opportunities
  • Mentoring
  • Nutrition education & healthy habits
  • Grit, goals, and gratitude training

Do you have a flyer or other materials I can use to engage my boathouse/sports club in this campaign?

SURE DO! Please click the link below to download a one-pager flyer you can distribute to your local network.

2021 #PCR10kChallenge Flyer

Why should I support Philadelphia City Rowing by Participating in the #PCR10kChallenge?

We have goals for the 2021 #PCR10kChallenge:

1) Raise money for our programs so that we can provide our student-athletes with the resources they need to be successful in the classroom, on the water, and in life.

 2) Raise awareness for our program so that members of the worldwide rowing community and Philadelphia fitness community can play an active role in supporting the health, wellness, and personal development of students in the Philadelphia School District.

3) Highlight key program components while providing a platform for student-athletes to speak on issues that they are passionate about and which directly impact their day-to-day lives (and future). 

We hope that with your #PCR10kChallenge post you take the time to share how rowing (or sport) has impacted your life, share how you are using sport to change the lives of others, or just share your support!

If being a good steward of the environment is your more your thing, feel free to share what you do on a daily basis to keep our environment clean, safe, and healthy. Together as a sporting community, we all rely on nature and the outdoors to enhance our health and wellbeing. Regardless of where you live, keeping your body of water and the adjacent land clean, safe, and enjoyable is critically important to our ability to continue rowing and safely using trails and parkland for our personal health and sport endeavors. 

How is this year's #PCR10kChallenge different from previous years?

Last year, we raised over $19,000 for our program and over 400 members of this community participated in the challenge on social media. Over the course of a month, a collection of inspirational captions, fun team photos, rowing music videos, and sweaty selfies were being shared across the entire community. To make the challenge even bigger and to help us reach a wider audience we expanded our prize categories to include: Best Worldwide Photo, Best Philadelphia Photo, Best Worldwide Video, and Best Philadelphia Video. 

This year, we have been inspired by Earth Month, our student athlete’s passion for environmental justice, and our organization's commitment to being good community members and stewards of the Schuylkill River. So, this year’s 10k challenge will also have a sustainability and environmental stewardship component. In addition to highlighting PCR’s core program and mission, the challenge will feature daily sustainability tips that people can incorporate into their daily training routine and will highlight some of the environmental justice issues that plague our community and directly affect our participants' overall health and wellness. 

What does this mean for you? In addition to the prize categories mentioned above, we will also have a winner for our favorite post about the environment and/or what YOU DO to be a steward of your community and your local environment. If you're looking for inspiration, check out our blog post on plogging for a fun and easy way to not only do some cross-training but also support the environment.

For all prizes, there will be six finalists in each voting category. All finalists will earn prizes and the winner will earn a grand prize. Photo and video submissions can be made on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. If you’d like your submission to be considered for the competition, your account must be public for at least 24 hours after posting.

Do I have to donate if I take the challenge?

All of PCR's programs and services are offered to our participants at no cost, except the commitment of their time and effort. This means that 100% of our programs are funded through private donations from local foundations and individuals like you. 

That being said, you do not have to donate in order to participate in the challenge. Simply by posting in support of the #PCR10kChallenge, you’re already raising awareness for our programs and our student-athletes. Making a donation, however, will help drive our mission forward and bring our life-changing programs to students throughout Philadelphia who have previously been excluded from rowing and the benefits its provides. So, participating AND donating is ideal.

How do I donate?

To make a donation online, please visit our PayPal page:


You can also donate through Venmo (@PhilaCityRowing) or mail a check made out to Philadelphia City Rowing to 450 Plymouth Road, Suite 305, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462. Please put 10k Challenge in the memo line with your check or Venmo donation so we know to attribute your gift to this campaign!

Tell me more about PCR & your program outcomes. 

For 10 years PCR has positively impacted the academic achievement, health outcomes, and social-emotional development of our participants. We are committed to fighting for equal opportunities for our student-athletes at both the local and national levels. Our long-term vision and goals are as follows:

  1. Reach the students who need us most.
  2. Serve more students without compromising our values or impact.
  3. Fill the gaps between what the Philadelphia School District is able to provide and what students need to thrive today and for the rest of their lives.
  4. Provide our student-athletes with an equally positive and transformative high school sports experience as their peers in wealthier districts and other major US cities.
  5. Advocate for the changes needed to redress inequities in our community and our sport that affect our student-athletes, and help rowing become a welcoming, empowering, and inclusive sport for people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and others who have historically been excluded.

Some highlights from the 2019-2020 school year include:

  • Reaching 260 students from 40 different public schools (prior to the pandemic, we were on-track to serve over 300 students).
  • PCR student-athletes outperformed the district population in SAT scores, GPA, on-time graduation, and college acceptance.
  • 100% of PCR students have graduated on-time (compared to just 69% of students across the district) and with a plan to further their education or professional training.
  • 97% of students would recommend PCR’s program to a friend.
  • 82% of students increased their self-regulation and ability to persist through life’s challenges.
  • 80% of students increased their self-confidence AND their social skills.
  • 76% of students increased their academic self-efficacy.
  • PCR proudly received the 2019 Anita DeFrantz Award from USRowing for “achieving measurable success in expanding diversity in rowing.”

Additional information about our mission and values can be found online at

Sample Posts:

Pumped to be supporting @philadelphiacityrowing and their #PCR10KChallenge today as they work to engage students throughout Philadelphia in the life-changing sport of rowing. I nominate @person1 @person2 and @person3 to do the same!

Love what @philadelphiacityrowing is doing to bring more diversity to our sport and all the work they are doing with students in the Philly Public Schools. I am happy to support the #PCR10KChallenge and nominate @organization1 @organization2 @organization3 to do the same!

As a rower and a runner, I use the Schuylkill River and adjacent trails nearly every day. Being outside and spending time in nature brings me peace and keeps me happy. I love what PCR is doing not only to share the great sport of rowing with students throughout Philadelphia but also how they are teaching their students to be great stewards of their community and the environment. I am happy to support the #PCR10KChallenge and their #PCRProtectsThePlanet campaign. I nominate @group1 @group2 and @group3 to do the same!

High school sports helped me become the person and athlete I am today. I am happy to support @philadelphiacityrowing and the #PCR10KChallenge. I nominate @rowingteam1 @rowingteam2 and @rowingteam3 do the same!

Affordable sport and youth development opportunities are so important but quickly becoming not accessible. @philadelphiacityrowing does great work and I am happy to support the #PCR10KChallenge. I nominate @group1 @group2 and @group3 to do the same!