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, which has been rolled into the larger, regional Pocock fund to have a lasting effect and expand the availability of rowing. 

If you know a youth rower who is interested in rowing, but cannot afford the fees, or if you are a current youth rower and need help covering the cost, please consider applying for the scholarship! Youth of color and those facing socio-economic barriers are encouraged to apply. The scholarship covers from 25-100% of rowing and regatta fees for up to one calendar year. The GPRF processes all scholarship applications via an on-line scholarship application form. 

*If you qualify, don’t pay your fees in iCrew until your scholarship is reflected.

All youth rowers, not just scholarship recipients, are encouraged to voluntarily fill out this survey from Pocock to help guide their practices to be more culturally competent. 

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.