Community wellness through rowing

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Rowing is the ultimate teamwork sport, with many applications in the outside world.

As a corporate rowing client, your team will learn how to work together in a very unique way, both on and off the water. Our rowing program builds confidence, camaraderie, and morale for your employees!


Rowing is a great addition (or start) to your workplace wellness program. A 2011 Grand Rapids Press article showed that Grand Rapids area employers with comprehensive wellness program saw a R.O.I. of $2 in savings for every $1 invested; fantastic results!

Team Building

Rowing is a unique and effective team building activity. Another recent article by Mike Michalowicz listed joining a rowing club as one of the top ten ways for business leaders to improve their management and leadership skills.

"The skills you will gain here are timing and consistent team execution, valuable in any business. You will also gain some team-building skills, and your biceps will probably also see some improvement."

Mike Michalowicz

Maybe you have seen any one of the many "teamwork" motivational posters with a picture of a crew working together in their rowing shell.

Teamwork poster  

They're not just picturesque; there is a reason rowing is great for these posters, and why it is often referred to as "the ultimate team sport."

Dan Lyons, president of Team Concepts, a management training consultant in Narberth, Pa., that counts Alcoa and Johnson & Johnson among its clients, rowed in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and has won in his division in 11 national rowing championships. Lyons says that there is a lot of unspoken communication in rowing, such as body language and tactile feel, and that business leaders can learn from that.

"Business leaders communicate in every way imaginable. Some understand that and some don't. As soon as they walk into a room they're communicating with their eye contact and the energy that they give off. It's not just what they say, but how they say it. The skills learned and team dynamics discovered when rowing together translate directly to business success."

Andrew Carnegie is famous for remarking that "the cooperative effort of rowing provides a better model for global business than any other sport."


"When rowing, you learn pretty quickly that it doesn't make sense to row ahead of your teammates. I want the Comprenew Crew to inspire the same level of teamwork within the entire operation. I think our weekly practices are already making us more aware of the value of teamwork...and I've noticed an increase in the 'I'm happy I work here' factor. Plus, nothing beats getting away from the office to be on the water."

Scott Vander Kooy, President, Worldwide Christian Schools/Comprenew

"We found the ultimate team building endeavor: sweep rowing. Grand Rapids Rowing was able to condense their formal eight session Learn to Row program into a custom afternoon session for fourteen inexperienced desk jockeys. They distilled enough of the fundamentals to host a challenging and rewarding afternoon for our group of significantly varying levels of fitness and athletic talent. Everyone understood that in spite of size, gender, strength and athletic differences it was obvious we had the potential to come together as larger and stronger entity. We finished the afternoon with a good sweat and a strong sense of accomplishment.

GRR members were patient, friendly, knowledgeable and downright fun. Any business or social group in Grand Rapids is missing a great opportunity if they have not yet availed themselves of the many GRR rowing and sculling programs."

Gary Quantock, VP-Operations, DTE Biomass Energy


Opportunities are available for corporate/organizational teams to form throughout the year. There are many opportunities for competition, or simply as a great team building activity. We will work with you to build a program to fit your organizational needs.

We have found that our most successful programs are several weeks in length, which we recognize can be quite a commitment. We have also had groups come to the boathouse for full-day sessions. We are currently working to develop a short-term option for companies who aren't yet ready for a more in-depth team-building exercise.

Contact the club president for more information.

GRRA is a member of

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GRRA is a member of

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