Held each year in May, Learn to Row Weekend is WeCanRow DC’s signature annual event. We invite breast cancer survivors in the Washington DC region, at any stage of treatment or recovery, to join us for this special experience. Held at the Anacostia Community Boathouse/Capital Rowing Club, the weekend features a truly inspiring introduction to the sport of sweep rowing and its healing power. It includes expert coaching, individual attention, catered meals, massages, yoga stretches, and more, in a joyful, spirited and supportive atmosphere.

The weekend begins with a Friday evening orientation and dinner. Saturday we demonstrate proper stroke technique in a land practice on the ergonomic rower (the erg), and then we practice using oars on the water in a wide stable barge. Finally, on Sunday, we go out for an easy row with experienced rowers in a full-sized shell for eight oars. We strive to provide a safe environment in which to learn something new on the water. It is both challenging and fun!

To request more information, complete and submit the form below. No experience or prior knowledge of rowing is necessary, but we do require that you have a doctor’s permission and that you pass a swim test.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the participants stay overnight?
No, the Learn to Row (LTR) is for women from the Washington Metro area. If host hospitality is needed for people living outside the immediate area, it may be arranged with sufficient notice.

Do the participants have to be able to swim?
Yes, a swim evaluation is required to participate. Rowers do not wear life vests in the boat. The test needs to be conducted by a Water Safety Instructor or lifeguard and requires swimming two laps of a 25-yard pool (using any method, including sculling and kicking on your back) – it is important for participants to demonstrate an ability to get to the shore should it be necessary – as well as treading water for 10 minutes which might be required to stay with a non-overturned boat. Competitive swimming ability is not required.

Can someone with another form of women’s cancer join WCRDC?
At the present time, we are only accepting women who have had breast cancer. This may change in the future.

I have had some rowing experience. May I join WCRDC?
Of course! WCRDC welcomes both experienced rowers and those who have never rowed before. There are programs for every skill level. In fact, we have members who were competitive rowers before breast cancer and joined our team to stay in the sport at a less demanding level as they went through treatment.

Does rowing cause lymphedema or make it worse?
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that rowing produces factors that reduce inflammation and thereby assists in preventing or improving lymphedema. Rowing is a full-body sport that promotes fitness, flexibility and strength of core muscles in the abdomen, back, and skeletal muscles of the hips, thighs, and legs. Any personal concerns should be discussed with your personal physician.

Am I too old to learn to row?
Probably not! Our team includes rowers in their 30s through their 70s.

My doctor does not think rowing is a good idea for me right now. How else can I become involved with WCRDC?
You could learn to be a coxswain, the person in the boat who steers and call the commands. The coxswain does not row at all, but is very much a part of the recovery team.

Want to know more?

STEP #1: Complete and submit the form below.
STEP #2: Keep posted! We will contact you with further instructions about forms and fees.

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