OAR’s mission is to promote competitive and recreational rowing in our Olympia community, fostering sportsmanship, teamwork, athleticism, and camaraderie. As much as is fiscally possible, OAR strives to overcome financial boundaries that would impede participation.
The George Pocock Rowing Foundation
The George Pocock Rowing Foundation (GPRF) teams with OAR to process and provide scholarship support. OAR is very grateful to the Gretchen Steiger Scholarship Fund, a primary OAR scholarship fund source, which allows many rowers the ability to participate when challenged by limited fiscal resources.
The GPRF processes all scholarship applications via an on-line scholarship application form. Need-based scholarships cover a wide range (10%-100%) of program fees. Pocock offers one fully-funded scholarship and OAR funds partial-needs scholarships through the Gretchen Steiger Scholarship Fund.
Gretchen Steiger Scholarship Fund
Gretchen Steiger was a beloved friend, fellow member and coach. She rowed 6th seat for all 4 years at Kent School in Connecticut, a rowing-dominating school that recently celebrated 100 years of rowing. While at Kent she raced 2 times at Head of the Charles high school division.
Gretchen rowed for 3 years at University of North Carolina (UNC) and was the captain and eventual stroke of the varsity 8+. In her last year at UNC, Gretchen founded and subsequently the captain of the UNC women’s rugby team and raced in the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SRIA). After graduation, she was a student coach of the novice rowing team at UNC.
Gretchen joined OAR in 1983. In the early years, Gretchen raced mostly in doubles with Susan Morrison and Don Law. In 2008, she won 1st place in both the Women’s C 4x and the Women’s D 4x at the USRowing Northwest Masters Regional Championships. Eventually, Gretchen began to coach for OAR around 2014.
She was a long time athlete and sports fan, loving rugby, the Seattle Sounders, and March Madness basketball. She also played competitive tennis as a master for a couple of years.
Gretchen Steiger passed away on April 12, 2019 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer more than 4 years prior. The Gretchen Steiger Scholarship Fund was established after her death. Gretchen’s smile, enthusiasm, and joy will be missed greatly by everyone who knew her.