Get Ready for the BAYADA Regatta!

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.

Maddy Jones, center, Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing club member, enjoying the race preparations

Maddy Jones, center, Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing club member, enjoying the race preparations

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.

Ricky Howard, Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing club member, getting ready for race in 2018

Ricky Howard, Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing club member, getting ready for race in 2018

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!

Regatta Volunteers

Regatta Volunteers


PCAS Programs

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.

Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing (PAR) volunteers helping to clean our boathouse channel

Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing (PAR) volunteers helping to clean our boathouse channel

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 and the champion PCAS Track and Field team at the Nationals

Darla and the champion PCAS Track and Field team at the Nationals

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.

Competition Results

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!

Help us Redefine Possible!
Your gift will help support PCAS athletes.
Click here to donate.

PCAS Recieves the WAWA Foundation Hero Award!

PCAS in the News

The Wawa Foundation Hero Award

Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports is the winner of the Wawa Foundation Hero Award. This award, which takes the form of a $50,000 grant toward furthering the group’s mission, was announced at the Wawa Welcome America July 4th Celebration of Freedom.

pcas wawa award

The live award ceremony was televised and featured short videos from the 4 finalists; the 3 runners-ups each received a grant of $10,000.

The Wawa Foundation Hero Award honors a non-profit organization that is committed to serving the Philadelphia area by assisting others and building stronger communities by preserving independence, protecting safety, and educating and inspiring youth. In addition to the grant, the award provides more exposure for the organization.

WAWA foundation hero award

The winner of the award was the organization that received the most votes from the public. The other finalists included ASAP After School Activities Partnership; Esperanza, a group designed to strengthen the Hispanic community; and Big Brothers/Big Sisters Independence. The 4 finalists were chosen from over 140 applicants from organizations in the Philadelphia area.

“We were so shocked and pleased to win this award,” said PCAS Executive Director Jeff McGinnis, who accepted the award at the ceremony. “This grant is going to help us make our programs even better, and the exposure is so helpful for our organization. We want to thank Wawa and all the people who voted for us.”

(Contributor: Irene McKnight)

PCAS Celebrates its Sponsors

At PCAS we believe it is important to serve our community at minimal or no cost to our athletes. While some of our programs have a modest participation fee, PCAS provides all the equipment, the venues, and trained volunteers and coaches. This is only possible through the support of our sponsors and donors, many of whom continue their support year after year. And we can’t thank them enough!

pcas sponsors

On Thursday evening, June 13th, PCAS hosted an event at the boathouse to meet and thank our sponsors and donors. Over 50 people gathered to celebrate our contributors, with food, drinks, conversation, and even a dragon boat excursion.

We welcomed Mark and Anne Baiada along with members of their team whose generous funding and volunteerism enable us to host the largest annual adapted rowing regatta in the country – the BAYADA Regatta – that will be held on August 17th this year.

We also enjoyed a large turnout from the Warrington Rotary Club, whose donations over the years have provided new ski equipment and new boats. Rotarians will be helping us with fencing in the area between the boathouse and the bicycle container and providing a walkway directly to the dock.

And our friends from Certa-Pro turned out to admire their handiwork, having painted the boathouse, pro bono, at the beginning of the season. Thank you Certa-Pro!

The event’s highlights included an outing on a dragon boat, captained by Peter McNamara, a PCAS Board member and rowing volunteer. PCAS also provided a fabulous meal, arranged by the PCAS MAC team. And speeches by PCAS athletes Sean Johnson, Maddie Jones, and Trent Clayton expressed the sense of gratitude of all of our members.

PCAS is profoundly grateful to these organizations that support our programs, whether or not they were able to attend the event. Thank you to all of you.

(Contributor: Meg Jones)

PCAS Programs

Adaptive Rowing: Making Waves for Almost 40 Years

Philadelphia is home to Rocky, soft pretzels, diehard sports fans, and rowing. In 1935, thousands showed up to watch a 3-mile race between two social clubs, cementing Philadelphia’s love of rowing. Today, the Schuylkill River is one of the top 10 rowing destinations in the world.

PAR Phila Adaptive Rowing

Not surprisingly, Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing (PAR) is both the oldest adapted rowing program in the world! We welcome both new athletes who have never held an oar as well as seasoned competitors. Like all PCAS programs, PAR relies heavily on volunteer support. Rowers and volunteers participate Monday through Wednesday, directed by Coordinators who oversee equipment and participant safety on the dock, boat, and water.

But Thursday nights are devoted to the PAR Development Program, which allows competitive athletes to train more frequently. Jeff McGinnis, PCAS Executive Director, says, "Our goal for the Development Program is to return PAR to a competitive standing where athletes can enter into the Paralympic development pipeline. Through 2012, PAR was the leading program in the U.S. for developing US Para-Rowing Team athletes. We are seeking to return to that stage and we're recruiting athletes, with or without rowing experience, who have the drive and skill to compete at elite levels."

To that end, PAR has secured a head coach for the program. Liz Euiler started rowing in junior high school and continued throughout her college years. She now rows on the High-Performance Team at Vesper Boat Club and will represent the U.S. at the Pan American Games this summer in Lima, Peru. Go, Liz!

Liz began coaching camps and at local clubs when she was in college and become a Head Coach in 2013. In 2016 she became an Assistant Coach for the varsity women at Philadelphia City Rowing, and she began working with PAR last year.

Liz coaches because she “enjoys sharing my love for the sport of rowing with others. The past five years working with youth rowers has been very rewarding. It is my hope that through my coaching I can give something back to the sport that has given so much to me over the past 17.”

(Contributor: Andrea Pampaloni)

PCAS People in the News

An interview with Carole McMahon

Adaptive Sports Philadelphia

We see you every year working to make the BAYADA Regatta a success. What motivates you to work so hard at it?

Making a difference in people’s lives has kept me engaged and challenged for 38 plus years.

BAYADA introduced me to health care and I wanted those who needed help to be the best they could be and have meaningful lives. That being said, I met my husband through volunteering with Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing and getting some of our clients involved.

Why rowing?

I love the adaptive rowing world and experienced selfless volunteers dedicate themselves to helping others become “free on the river” - leaving their wheelchairs, and other equipment, on the dock and making their ‘abilities’ shine.

My husband needed much help to row and it took a lot to get him ready to partner with his volunteer. But he was never happier than when he was on the water and hanging out with such special people. People come from all walks of life: athletes, therapists, executives, and those like him whose life changed in a second.

Joe was special to me - the love of my life. We had a wonderful marriage and he made me a better person. As do the friends I have made at PAR and other programs from all over the world.

I am inspired by those I meet each year - new friends and those I have known for years. That connection is strong not just at Regatta time but throughout the year.

Clients and employees of BAYADA Home Health Care continue to be dedicated to the Regatta and give their time and spirit in helping Mark and the BAYADA family make each Regatta successful.

I retired from BAYADA this year - but will never retire from the Regatta. I look forward to the day, the people and the spirit that is seen and felt through the athletes and volunteers!

(Contributor: Jack Campbell)

Competition Results

PCAS Youth Track and Field

Congratulations to the PCAS Youth Track and Field team and their success at the Richard J Cadmus Masonic Regional Meet on June 8-9 in North Brunswick NJ.

We had 11 competitors from Team PCAS, and won over 70 medals between all the kids competing. Madison Hahs won the award for top female athlete!

adapted sports for kids

Independence Day Regatta

Congratulations to the PCAS rowing team, members of the Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing program (PAR), and their success at Philadelphia’s Independence Day Regatta Adapted 2x race on Sunday, June 30th.

PAR team members received 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. John Doughty and Pete McNamara came in 1st, with Maddie Jones and Jen Koch taking 2nd, and William Chernets and Michael Murphy 3rd. Oars Up!

Help us Redefine Possible!
Your gift will help support PCAS athletes.
Click here to donate.