PCAS in the News
The 38th Annual BAYADA Regatta
On Saturday August 17th, rowers from Philadelphia and around the US, along with their families, friends and volunteers, will converge on the banks of the Schuylkill River to participate in the 38th BAYADA Regatta.
The regatta which started in 1981 with a few rowers has grown into one of the largest all-adapted rowing regattas in the world.
This year there will be 32 races with rowers from 15 clubs, including several teams participating in the regatta for the first time.
As the regatta's host club, Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing (PAR), starts preparing for the regatta on Thursday evening, packing their truck with equipment and rowing boats up to St. Joe’s Boathouse.
The regatta will be held at the St Joseph’s University’s Gillin Boat Club, 2200 Kelly Drive, about one mile below Falls Bridge. Kelly Drive will be closed to non-regatta traffic, but participants and fans can get through. When you arrive at the event police barricade, tell them you are attending the regatta, and they will let you through.
Spectators can park along Kelly Drive, and enter the event at the down-river (South) side of the boathouse. Teams and volunteers will park in the lot on the up-river (North) side of the boathouse.
Each year referees and event operators make certain that all races start on time and proceed without incident. Dock Masters Pete McNamara and Eve Putkovich will orchestrate the races. Lane Crews on the dock will assure that rowers are ready and that their boats are properly rigged. In addition, hundreds of volunteers, from BAYADA, PAR and visiting crews will be working throughout the day to ensure a perfect event.
Attendance at the regatta is totally free, including the parking, the music, soft pretzels and bottled water. So please come, support the rowers, and enjoy these exciting races!
A Pledge to the Dredge
The Schuylkill River has not been dredged since 1999, and twenty years of silt build-up has taken a toll.
Both rowing shells and motorized launches often find themselves stuck in front of Boathouse Row. And for PAR rowers, the channel from the boathouse out to the river shallows out, especially near the turn where the channel meets the river.
The overall impact is dire. Regattas are increasingly at risk of losing racing lanes, which could cause participants to pull out of competition. Canceling even one regatta would be an enormous blow to Philadelphia's economy and to our scholastic athletes.
To address the situation, the Schuylkill Navy looked to the Army Corps of Engineers (COE) for help. In the past, the COE has funded any necessary dredging, but not this time. Instead, the COE has agreed to perform the dredging, but indicated that they would not be paying for it.
Recognizing the dire situation, the Schuylkill Navy stepped up, took the initiative and successfully raised $4.5 million, well over half of the funding needed for the “big dig”.
Local universities have also stepped up generously, raising $2 million in donations, according to Schuylkill Navy Delegate Henry Hauptfuhrer. Contributions have also come from various rowing clubs, the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and many generous individuals – truly a community effort.
The Schuylkill Navy will be coordinating communications between the COE and local boathouses to keep everyone updated on the schedule and process.
Originally scheduled to start after the July 4th Independence Day Regatta, dredging now is likely to be put off until next year.
The three main areas to be dredged are the racecourse between the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and Peter’s Island, by the docks along Boathouse Row, and our access channel from the PAR Boathouse to the river.
Boathouse Row and the PAR dock areas are expected to be done first, to accommodate the turtles (yes, turtles!) that rowers often see sunning themselves on the rocks along the shoreline. In the winter, turtles burrow into the riverbed. If dredging were done after temperatures drop, it would disrupt the ecosystem, and create a significant population of homeless turtles. For that reason, the Corps of Engineers will dredge those areas considering the turtle’s hibernation pattern.
(Contributor: Andrea Pampaloni)
PCAS People in the News
Youth Track and Field Coach Darla Clayton
Youth Track and Field is one of Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports (PCAS) newer programs. We have Dr. Darla Clayton to thank for her work as founder of this program and as coach for this incredible group of kids.
Darla Clayton was living in Pittsburgh when she became interested in adaptive sports. Her son Trent competed for the first time at the age of 7. He ran in 60-meter, 100-meter and 200-meter races, and qualified to compete at Junior Nationals which was held in Michigan that year.
With that trip to Junior Nationals, the whole family was hooked! On the way home Trent asked if they could start an adaptive sports team. Darla agreed, "having absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into."
When Darla and her family moved from Pittsburgh to West Chester, PA, she connected with the Pennsylvania Center for Adaptive Sports, and PCAS gladly opened the Youth Track and Field as a new adaptive sport program, with Darla as head coach and program lead.
Darla is a winning coach, having taken the team to Junior Nationals for the past 8 years. They are currently the 1st place team in their division, for the third year in a row!
Darla dedicates many hours both in-season and in the off-season to her Track and Field kids. She jokingly calls herself the "chief cook and bottle washer" of the team, Darla contributes, by not only coaching the team weekly from April through July, but she also facilitates the athletes winter, off the field training, including helping with the swimming program at West Chester University. She also coordinates and travels with the team to two meets per year, the Regional and National events. And to top it off, Darla makes her own team attire including tee-shirts and hats you see in the photo.
Darla is a strong proponent of adaptive sports and feels passionately about providing opportunities for youth with physical challenges to stay active. She says, “it’s about physical fitness, but it’s also about so much more. Being part of a team, learning to work together, making friends, and being around people who really get it, these things are priceless for my kids."
Darla is fun. She smiles all the time and looks for the positive in any situation and person. She is always asking how she can help. Beyond being a great volunteer for PCAS, it was Darla who suggested PCAS enter the WAWA Foundation Hero Award this year. When PCAS won the top award, Darla was the unsung hero.
PCAS applauds and thanks Darla Clayton for her hard work, good ideas, and dedication in coaching the Youth Track and Field team.
Coach Darla has a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology, working for Angioma Alliance as a community engagement and fundraising specialist. She is also a board member of Adaptive Track and Field USA and is an advisory board member of the Dralla Foundation.
For more information on PCAS' Youth Track and Field, contact Jeff McGinnis.
PCAS Youth Track and Field -
Third consecutive division title!
Team PCAS had six athletes compete in Adaptive Sports USA's Junior Nationals: Jana, Hari, Trent, Ekow, Madison and Ava.
Competition was tough this year but they worked hard and came away with a team win. Our team is bringing home first place in our division!
Jana, Madison and Ekow competed in the triathlon relay, coming in 2nd place.
Hari competed in archery coming in 3rd and Trent competed in air guns placing 3rd.
Madison, Ekow, Ava and Trent competed in swimming events, winning a combined 10 gold medals, 14 silver medals and 2 bronze medals and Ava broke 3 national records in swim!!
We had 6 athletes compete in field events, coming away with a combined 13 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 2 bronze with Trent breaking the discus record with a throw of 27.82 meters, and Madison breaking the discus and javelin records.
We had 5 athletes compete in track events winning a combined total of 25 gold medals, 3 gold and 2 bronze medals at track. Overall our team was outstanding both in athletics and sportsmanship!