About WYRA

Our Mission

WYRA’s mission is to promote physical, mental, and social wellness in young people of all backgrounds, using the sport of rowing and related educational programs to instill essential lifelong values including physical fitness, responsibility, self-discipline, teamwork, leadership, commitment, and the pursuit of excellence.

WYRA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that introduces sport of rowing to youth ages 11-18 through a complete series of after-school competitive programs and in our summer Rowing 101 and ROW FOR IT! camps. WYRA is a nationally recognized club, and our competitive crews race locally, regionally, and nationally against schools and other club programs. 

Boathouse History

WYRA began as part of the Wilmington Rowing Club in 1989 and incorporated as the Wilmington Youth Rowing Association in 1994. In 1993 ROW FOR IT!, WYRA’s summer community rowing camps, began. For several years WYRA’s “boathouse” was a small shed and orange trailer filled with used shells in the Wilmington Rowing Club’s driveway.

In 1998 WYRA found a new home in an old Pusey and Jones Machine Shop on the Christina River at Front and Lombard St. Thanks to the tremendous support from local foundations, companies, the Riverfront Development Corp., the City of Wilmington and many individuals, we were able to purchase and renovate the 17,000 sq. ft. building. We moved into our new boathouse in 1999.

The Faith and Gordon Pizor Boathouse

Faith and Gordon Pizor were two people with the biggest hearts, greatest vision, unbelievable dedication, boundless energy, determination and grit. The Faith and Gordon Pizor Boathouse stands as an everlasting memorial to these two pioneers who started a program, nationally recognized, which has been a home to thousands of kids over the past 30 years. They attracted a large number of supporters, many of whom served on the WYRA Board over the years, and twisted arms of corporations and foundations to fund the building of the boathouse and support the program. There is no end of the accolades that we can bring to the memory of these two amazing individuals. 

Gordon passed away in 2011 and we lost Faith on April 8, 2021.

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