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About WYRA

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 responsibility, self-discipline, teamwork, leadership, commitment, and the pursuit of excellence.

WYRA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that introduces the wonderful sport of rowing to kids ages 10-18 through a complete series of after-school competitive programs and in our summer ROW FOR IT! camps. WYRA is a nationally recognized club, and our competitive crews race locally, regionally, and nationally against school and other club programs. Our rowers come from 28 public, private,and  parochial schools (as well as those who are home schooled) in Delaware, the Maryland Eastern Shore, southeastern PA, southern New Jersey and from the inner city and suburbia.

WYRA is located on 500 E. Front St. on the Christina River, a block and a half past the Wilmington Train Station and only minutes from I-95 and I-495.

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.

Here’s a list of some of the schools WYRA rowers have attended in the past:

A.I. DuPont, Archmere, Avon Grove (Pa), Bishop Shanahan (PA), Brandywine HS, Cab Calloway, Charter, Concord HS, Conrad, Delcastle, Garnett Valley, Hanby, H.B. DuPont, Henderson (PA), IHM, Kennett (PA), McKean, Mt. Pleasant, Newark, Padua, C.F. Patton (PA), Penncrest (PA), Salesianum, Sanford, Springer, St. Aquinas, St. Marks, Tatnall, Tower Hill, Unionville (PA), Ursuline, Villa Maria Academy (PA), Westtown Friends, William Penn, Wilmington Friends, Wilmington Christian School.

We are proud that our graduating rowers have gone on to an impressive list of colleges, including:

Annapolis, Bates, Boston College, Boston University, Brown, Colby, Clemson, Columbia, Cornell, Dayton, Duke, George Washington, Georgetown, Harvard, Hobart, Indiana, Ithaca, Johns Hopkins, Kansas State, Loyola of Maryland, MIT, Middlebury, Naval Academy, Northeastern, Northwestern, Penn, Pitt, Princeton, RIT, Rutgers, St. Joseph’s, St. Lawrence, Syracuse, Trinity, Tufts, University of Delaware, University of Maryland, University of Hampshire, University of Tennessee,University of Vermont, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin, Villanova, West Point, Williams.

WYRA does its best to make sure that any student who wants to learn the sport of rowing can. If you think you may need a scholarship or help with the dues, please contact: Lou Salvadori at 302-777-4533 or use the email link on the right.

For information on WYRA's budget or 990 listing, contact Julie Donohue by using the email link on the right.

For further information please contact:

Lou Salvadori

Executive Director

Phone: 302.353.0586

Julie Donohue


Phone: 410-530-7381

Street address:

500 East Front Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

Boathouse phone:



If I make a donation to WYRA, is it tax deductible?

Yes! WYRA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization making all donations are tax deductible.

How does WYRA help their rowers get into college?
WYRA spends a good deal of time talking about college and helping rowers prepare for the college application process. Each year we have College Night for our juniors and their parents and have speakers discuss the college admissions process using rowing as a leg up, as well as discussing the pros and cons of rowing in college and what sort of program is right for your child.

Will coaches write recommendations? Or talk to college coaches?
WYRA coaches talk to college recruiters and write letters of recommendation for many of our rowers. In recent years more than half of our graduating seniors use rowing to assist them in the college application and scholarship process and many continue to row in college.