Juneteenth Challenge In Its Fourth Year | Concept2

Juneteenth Challenge In Its Fourth Year

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May 22, 2023

Juneteenth Challenge logoThe Concept2 Juneteenth Challenge is a one-day virtual event on June 19 and coincides with Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in 1865 in the United States. Join us for the fourth annual Concept2 Juneteenth Challenge! We’re pleased to do a small part to celebrate African American freedoms and achievements.

Here’s how the challenge works: Concept2 pledges to donate $19,000 plus an additional $2 for every person who completes more than 1900 meters, up to a maximum total of $38,000. Last year, you helped raise over $27,000!

The funds raised by Juneteenth Challenge participants last year were divided between the three Black-owned rowing programs below. We checked in with them to see how things were going one year later.

2022 Recipients

dock shot
Pushing off from the dock at BLJ Community Rowing.

BLJ Community Rowing has put the Concept2 funds to great use. They started a rowing team at Girard College, a predominantly Black boarding high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The program started with indoor rowing and moved to on water practices. The Concept2 funds were extremely helpful and were used to pay coaching staff, lifeguards, and provide meals for the athletes. Since Girard is a boarding school, the rowing program provides dinner before taking the students back to campus.

Athletes Without Limits Rowing
Athletes Without Limits Rowing.

Since receiving the Juneteenth 2022 funds, Athletes Without Limits (AWL) has purchased new oars and ergs, allowing for the expansion of programs while continuing to provide an inclusive, fun and supportive atmosphere, and pursue a structured and competitive rowing season, on and off the water. In January of 2023, Unity Boat Club (UBC) was founded as a Minority & Veteran Owned Rowing Club based in Washington, DC and Raleigh, North Carolina. With AWL Rowing transferring its resources to UBC-DMV & UBC-NC, the ability has increased to serve even more in the focus of its three programs:
-Minority Youth
-Intellectual & Developmental Impaired
-Military and Veteran

An organization that prides itself on taking action and providing a high-quality experience, Unity Boat Club is thrilled to provide its athletes with new Concept2 equipment, used at regattas from the San Diego Crew Classic to the Virginia Scholastic Championships.

brick city rowing team shot
Brick City Rowing athletes at the Garden State Championships.

Brick City Rowing (BCR) was founded in September 2020, with the mission of providing greater access for the students and families of Newark, New Jersey, and surrounding municipalities. Rowing as a sport is ripe with scholarship opportunities and pathways to advancement, from which the organization firmly believes the community can benefit. Brick City Rowing has the tools and passion to see this through with help from families, business leaders, elected officials, and the community at large. With funds raised by the 2022 Juneteenth Challenge, BCR purchased RowErgs, BikeErgs and oars that have made practices efficient and effective for its youth participants.

The organization is now balancing a strong desire to build up programming in Newark with a focus on coaching participants to reach the highest levels of the sport in their age category. These goals include winning at Stotesbury Cup Regatta and qualifying for Youth Nationals.

2023 Recipients

This year, Concept2’s Juneteenth Challenge will benefit three organizations that are working to increase access, participation, and community in three different areas of focus.

  • Oklahoma City Black Alumni Coalition (OBAC)–OBAC is developing more programming centered around four pillars: Relationships, Excellence, Advocacy and Placemaking. Their major summer event, the River Bowl Classic, promotes and celebrates access to the Oklahoma River, including the sport of rowing.
  • Project Onyx–Diversifying CrossFit. Mission: “We envision a community full of healthy, active individuals who have equal access to health and fitness services provided by diverse and culturally competent professionals.”
  • Clemmons Family Farm–Clemmons Family Farm has a three-part mission: 1) preserve the historic Clemmons Farm as an African-American land, culture, and heritage asset of national importance, 2) empower a growing network of Black Vermont artists, and 3) build a multi-cultural community.

Anyone with a Concept2 Online Logbook can participate in the Juneteenth Challenge. Starting on June 1, you can sign up from your logbook page to row, ski or ride 1900 meters on June 19 (Note: BikeErg meters are counted as half when applied to the challenge). Meters can be done all at once in one workout or over several workouts throughout the day.

Your participation in the Juneteenth Challenge will enable these organizations to better serve their missions. We’re excited to provide our support directly to organizations that are providing leadership and role modeling health and fitness in their communities.

Learn more about the Juneteenth Challenge here.

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