Springfield—The Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club (PVRC) is kicking off its summer programming with a Learn to Row/Learn to Paddle clinic, free and open to the public, on Saturday, July 3 at 10 a.m., and a Dragon Boat scrimmage on Saturday, July 17 at 9 a.m. All activities are located at PVRC’s boathouse at North Riverfront Park, 121 West Street, Springfield.
The free Learn to Row/Paddle clinic on July 3 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. will teach participants ages 13+ to row, and age 18+ to row or paddle together in a dragon boat, which is a 20-person war canoe with origins dating back 2,000 years in China. No reservations are necessary. Another Learn to Row/Paddle clinic will be held on August 7, and weeklong classes are also available during the summer for those 13+. For more information, visit PVRC’s website, https://www.pvriverfront.org/.
Spectators are also welcome to preview dragon boat racing on July 17 beginning at 9 a.m., when three regional teams will go dragon-head to dragon-head in a scrimmage on the Connecticut River. The riverfront club will host the 8th Springfield Dragon Boat Festival on October 2, 2021. Registration is now open for dragon boat teams. For more information, visit PVRC’s website.
PVRC is up and running with full programming after a successful fundraising campaign and reorganization of club structure after the pandemic. PVRC is a nonprofit in Springfield that operates river-based sporting activities with the goal of developing river access for the public and encouraging recreation in Greater Springfield.
“We are here. We have kayak rentals, learn to row and paddle clinics all summer long, and friendly staff ready to help. All we need is you,” appeals Executive Director Ben Quick. “We rely heavily on word of mouth and on our happy participants to tell their friends. Please, don’t keep us a secret!”
The organization’s leadership curtailed operations last Spring and ended most programming on March 13, 2020. PVRC representatives launched a fund drive to develop the resources needed to reopen, and after a winter shutdown, fiscal management, public health precautions, and the reorganization of club structure made reopening possible.
Andy’s Kayak Rentals provide weekend rentals from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kayaks can be reserved in advance, though not required, on the PVRC website.
PVRC, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, operates a recreational and boathouse facility in the North End of Springfield on the riverfront and located within easy walking and bike-riding distance of downtown. The organization serves as a point of access to the river for individuals of all ages, and offers adult rowing, youth rowing, dragon boating, kayaking, and community programming.
PVRC offers a wide variety of outreach programs aimed at bringing lifelong healthy activities to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate, such as the Young Parents Program for young men and women who are striving to set a course for life improvement for themselves and their young children; Learn to Paddle and Row days which teach the basics of rowing and dragon boating to the community; and Chestnut Champions which introduces rowing to the elementary-aged students in the North End. All of these programs are provided at no charge to the participants.
PVRC is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, with no entrance fee. See www.pvriverfront.org for more information about programs.
Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club is a river-based nonprofit that operates recreation facilities located in Springfield’s North Riverfront Park and hosts various dragon boating and rowing programs for youth and adults.