Sara Mullens

At the start of the year, I was 138 lbs and told my coach that I was interested in rowing lightweight. He told me that at my height and body type that it was not a good idea and wouldn't let me. Our club qualified a Lt8+ that went to Nationals and crushed it - the heaviest girl was 128lbs, no-one had to lose weight. There are plenty of programs like ours that take the health and safety of their athletes seriously, probably the vast majority of them. Please do not end lightweight rowing for the few coaches and athletes that get it wrong.

Jacob Fondriest

Although I am a heavyweight, I've rowed all my life with both heavy and light rowers. The amount of work they put in to make themselves as fast as possible despite their (typically) shorter stature never ceases to amaze me, and it breaks my heart to think they'd be essentially cut off from reaping any reward for their hard work.

Katherine Dietz

I was a lightweight. I fought hard for lightweight rowing. It's important to expand the sport. This category creates opportunity. Support it.

Blair Satterfield

If there is a problem with athletes jeopardizing their health to change classification, or worse, coaches pushing competitors to do the same, go after the perpetrators. Punishing all lightweights to protect a few individuals, however well intended, is lazy policing. When a patient is sick, she isn’t killed to cure the disease.

Charlotte Taft

Lightweight rowing opens up opportunities for many many excellent and devoted youth athletes. Please keep this chance for more rowers to perform at the level they deserve!

Pamela Parrish Wilken

I'm signing because our hardworking ltwt athletes deserve their category to be preserved. Cutting it does not make sense. Period.

David Campos

Lightweight categories give many smaller rowers the opportunity to be competitive racers. If the fear is regarding some rowers cutting weight to a dangerous level, then have each rower evaluated at the beginning of the season to determine if it is safe for them to be down at that rate. Myself and other lwt rowers were evaluated by our school to be allowed to race in lwt category. If lightweight categories are eliminated, I believe MANY programs will cease to exist.

Chloe Hoch

If lightweight rowing didn’t exist I wouldn't have had the opportunities that I was so fortunate to experience in crew due to my size.

Christen Smith

I have daughter that fits into this category. She has the opportunity to be competitive in this sport solely because of this category. USRowing would be hurting this sport by getting rid of this category due to not every kid who chooses to row being average to tall height. She's 5'4" and could never compete with those who are open weight. Use common sense guidelines to help keep this sport healthy!

Stephanie Stark

As a former lightweight rower it was so important for me to race and be successful agains t athletes my size - especially in an event where size truly matter. Rowing allowed me to become
An athlete because I felt competitive-taking away lightweight categories will put smaller athletes back to a place where they can’t succeed purely
Because of size but definitely not effort - don’t take that away.

Kete Hatfield

Because my niece is a beast on the water and deserves the right to compete.

Beth Wilkinson

Crew is an extraordinary sport that should be available to more- not fewer - youth. Do not eliminate this option because some people push the limits to meet weight. That’s a monitoring matter that is not an inherent problem with the weight group.

Judy Rosen

I was a lightweight rower with the women's team and coxswain for the mens boats when I was in high school and college. Please keep this opportunity available for those of us smaller frame individuals. Rowing changed my life by giving me the confidence I could do anything. I have achieved so much in my life all because of rowing.

Pete Gray

My son and his buddy’s are lightweights and are currently competing at a high level in this category. It would be awful to deny them this wonderful opportunity.

Jamie Roloff

Lightweight rowing gave me a purpose and an opportunity to succeed.

Joe Ragno

My son is a recently graduated lightweight high school rower. Some of the most spectacular racing finishes I have ever seen were in the lightweight category. Elimination of lightweights is an exclusionary measure targeting smaller, lighter athletes. It will gut the sport.

Brett McGettigan

I may be far from being called a lightweight, but that doesn’t change the fact that this category being gone will (putting it nicely) severely mess up those rowers who weigh less. Many of these people don’t have a choice being their size so why should they be punished for it when they work just as hard, and some cases harder, than those who are twice their size? Doesn’t seem sporting to me, and rowing would see a significant drop in rowers if the lightweight category is removed.

Irena Baker

I am a lightweight athlete and strongly support keeping the lightweight rowing competition.

Fran Tuite

I support lightweight rowing wholeheartedly. As a lightweight rower since 1976 I would hate to see this sport opportunity closed to smaller athletes. Rowing changed my life significantly and I support lightweights!

Susan Boardman

The designation lightweight allows a group of people to participate in rowing without being forced to gain weight. Equal opportunity should exist for everyone.

Michelle Castro

My son is a Ltwt rower. There are so many Ltwt rowers that need not be discriminated against because of they’re lighter weight. They offer a
the same amount of competitiveness as open weight rowers. There should be equal offers of events for men and women in both Ltwt and open weight events.

Fiona Toose

I believe that the future of rowing lies in it being a more inclusive sport. To remove lightweight rowing ( or any other existing category) from competition or limit its place therein is a retrograde step and is limiting inclusion in what is a wonderful sport. By all means add more categories such as coastal rowing, but do not at the expense of others. 
Fiona Toose
Captain 
Penrith Rowing Club
NSW Australia

Lisa Johnson

I rowed lightweight, and as a former USRowing board member, I know of the incredible role that lightweight rowing has had internationally in providing opportunities for international participation. This legacy cannot be overlooked

Nancy Mueller

To stop lightweight rowing is to stop most women from competing. This could be taken to court, so why go through all that, just keep lightweight rowing. Why should someone be unable to participate based on weight and consequently gender - that is discriminatory!

Joseph Ebner

US Rowing is an organization that is deaf to the voices of its members. I know most of the people who want to abolish LTWT rowing haven't touched an oar in decades. In case you forgot, rowing is the toughest sport out there. Rowing is suffering. There is nothing easy about rowing. Cutting weight is hard - SURPRISE! Don't be a fool, heavyweights and lightweights ARE NOT equal. Why is the lightweight world record 2k 5:56 and the heavyweight 5:35? Because the more weight you have to effectively use, the more powerful you are. If you want to get rid of lightweight rowing, you are soft and need to learn how to appreciate the suffering of rowing.

Luciana Hernandez

All this talk of cutting and dieting does not represent light weight rowing at my club. No girls are trying to lose weight and most of us are trying hard to gain weight. Most of us are under 120 lbs. We love it when our coach signs us up for regattas that have light weight events because we know we at least have a chance, otherwise we just get blown away and it is so discouraging. Please, please, please save light weight rowing.

Casey Gomes

I’m a lightweight rower and I can’t have this sport taken away from me

Shannon Gardner

LW rowing is inclusive and critical to the longevity of the sport. Go Baker LW Teams!

Rory Frasier Mackenzie

I wish we had lightweight rowing when I was at high school. There was so much pressure to get bigger that quite a few guys on my team were doing HGH and creatine to try to make our first 8+.

Kasey McKeown

I was small in high school and couldn’t have rowed if I wasn’t a lightweight.

Elizabeth Omohundro

Eliminating lightweight rowing would cut out too large a section of the rowing community. It wouldn't be good for the rowers or for the vibrant future of rowing.

Filipe Brandao

Sport's world is supposed to be progressive. This kind of cutting is a step back.

Amanda Evans

I am a small rower (5'5 and 122 lbs), I started rowing in middleschool and it has changed my life completely. Before rowing I never saw myself as an athlete, but now I can confidently say that I am. I work really hard, I train with my team, at home and at the gym - trying to put on muscle! I will be a rising junior in the fall and finally am intention to make my team's lightweight 8+ , I have been working towards this goal for 18 months.  Now they say they want to take it away. This age category thing doesn't help lightweights at all and besides we will be too old for U17 as juniors and seniors anyway. I can honestly tell you that the girls (and boys) on my team's lightweight programs work every bit as hard as the openweights, we just want the same opportunities to compete. I also wanted desperately to get recruited lightweight to college... how do I prove myself racing in our openweight 3V ?

Rory Frasier Mackenzie

I wish we had lightweight rowing when I was at high school. There was so much pressure to get bigger that quite a few guys on my team were doing HGH and creatine to try to make our first 8+.

Heidi Walker

After running a youth rowing club for the last four years in NC it is frustrating that youth lightweight events are in jeopardy. For small teams it is hard to field competitive teams already, cutting the lightweight category would force teams to start recruiting and holding try-outs to field only open weight competitive crews. Rowing needs to grow in the youth category not shrink. If the sport grows then we could have different league levels like soccer does but until then every team needs as many opportunities to put crews together in configurations which allow them to compete on as close to a level playing field as they can get and the lightweight category provides that option. Please don’t make it even harder for youth rowing to survive. In a region like the Southeast where the sport is starting to grow and gain traction this change would certainly seal its fate when you are up against extremely strong athletic programs in the public and private schools. Globally rowing needs to grow, not shrink. Please keep lightweight rowing alive for so many youth.

Dusty Nettik

Bodies come in all shapes, sizes, and weights. Cutting lightweights would be an injustice to those of smaller stature.

Tiffanny de Zayas

I was a lightweight rower for 3 years in high school and it was the best thing for me. It helped me grow in my confidence.

Cheryl Prevost

My son is a natural lightweight. This would eliminate him and many of his teammates from fair competition.

Mike Owen

I rowed lightweight for a number of years and it helped level the playing field a little for us lighter individuals, many of the guys I rowed with over the years would probably have not continued to row without the opportunity to race lightweight at some stages in the season. 
Don’t alienate an entire portion of this community.

Cheryl Prevost

My son is a natural lightweight. This would eliminate him and many of his teammates from fair competition.

Bernhard Stomporowski

lightweight rowing is an essential part of our sport....it belongs to our history and creates the fairness our grant grant grant fathers already wanted for our sport...thanks for this iniative

Rebecca Haydock

Let's keep this amazing sport and fair competition accessible to more people! There is nothing to lose and so many great people to gain.

Jonathan Pohlhammer

I was a lightweight rower my entire career and know first hand the disadvantage they face competing against rowers of significantly larger size.

Jennifer Young

My son is way under normal weight averages for his age but is very athletic. Eliminating the light weight category excludes current and future athletes in this amazing sport.

Troy Madden

I’m a high school coach and believe light weight rowing is an important part of the sport

David McGovern

Lightweight rowing is often the most competitive races in a regatta. While I understand the concern about weight management- there are so many more protections in place to keep athletes healthy while lightweights. If we want to continue the growth of our sport we NEED lightweights

David Greenberg

Lightweight rowing changed my life for the better, and will let far more people compete. It is a way to grow the sport, and we need that.

Karen Walsh

While I understand that USRowing is likely trying to protect young rowers from negative practices used to try to meet the weight cut-off, those rowers who are naturally shorter and lighter should have a fair shot at racing against crews of similar stature.

Luca Machado

I think people of different sizes should have an equal opportunity to compete in the sport they love.

Lauren Andrews

As a natural lightweight girl, 125lbs and nearly 5’4”, I have absolutely no chance against girls that are 160+ lbs and half a foot taller than me. Age categories don’t create a fair playing field either- I’m going to be a senior and there are plenty of younger high school athletes that are huge for their age. Without lightweight as a category, I and many other girls on my team would struggle next year to stay competitive. This is my third year going to nationals in a lightweight boat, something I could never accomplish if lightweight rowing was taken away. Make restrictions and enforce monitored weigh-ins throughout the year if you’re worried about heavier athletes unhealthily cutting in the weeks before an important race, but don’t put the vast majority of us lightweights at a disadvantage because of them.

Dennis Ferm

I am a lightweight and I want rowing to be inclusive

Jessica Concepcion

Love the opportunity this provides a wider variety of athlete.

Máire Keating

I am signing because our Rowing Club, Skibbereen Rowing Club in Ireland, has produced and continues to produce some of the best lightweight rowers not alone in Ireland but in the world. Our build as Irish people is predominantly suited to lightweight rowing. I believe it would be a huge shame and a great loss to our Sport if lightweight rowing continuous to be diminished on the world stage.

Christian Norniella-Burke

My passion and determination in the sport was remarkable during my time as a lightweight rower. I strived every day for four years for a chance at a national championship and eventually won. Taking away this category is unfair to the people that weren’t born with the physique of a heavyweight rower. Keep the dreams alive for these boys and girls

Nick Sjolin

I’m a lightweight rower. I’ve had many opportunities because of this

Kristen Werner

I think it's unfair to make lightweight rowers compete against someone 30+ pounds heavier than them. So many smaller people would be discouraged from rowing if this happens.

Paula Murray

I'm signing because I am on a breast cancer survivor dragon boat team and we are also a "light" boat, compared to others. We would love to be able to compete in a lightweight category, so to find that USRowing is eliminating the lightweight category is discouraging. Keep the playing field level by allowing athletes to compete against similar athletes, when weight is a large factor in race times.

Marie Alvarez

My youngest is graduating from a HS youth Club after 5 years in the rowing program and will be a member of her college's lightweight team. Each year, our Club's lightweight program has grown and strengthened where last year, our 1st big boat, a mens' lightweight 8+ qualified for Nationals. This year, we have a womens' lightweight 8+ and a mens' lightweight 4+ going. These kids are extremely competitive and love the big races. US Rowing has always requested Clubs like ours to promote the sport of rowing so it continues to grow at the HS level. Lightweight categories are essential to the growth of the Youth Rowing. Without them, you will dismantle rowing programs throughout the country.

Rohini Winters

I wish I had the opportunity or my family members had the opportunity to participate in team sports that were offered but none of us were big enough to be competitive except in gymnastics which is very individual. After my son joined crew as a novice in his first year in college I wish we had rowing at our high school and would encourage USRowing not to eliminate the youth lightweight division.

Hannah Roche

Lightweight rowers deserve to be recognized as athletes!!!

James Green

I’m signing because I believe many programs in the US only exist because they have lightweight juniors, without lightweight the programs would not be viable. To remove lightweight Rowing would require any lightweight to race heavy, and they would inmost part not be competitive with heavyweights, so would likely decide to do another sport . Reducing participation in Rowing significantly. In turn this has major economic impact on the sport.

Hannah Roche

Lightweight rowers deserve to be recognized as athletes!!!

William Ansdell

I'm a lightweight rower and would not perform well as a heavyweight. Lightweight rowing let's people of average height enjoy the sport.

Diana Norniella-Burke

It’s important to have lightweight rowing , diversity of bodies is not an option.

Hannah Roche

Lightweight rowers deserve to be recognized as athletes!!!

Mary Jones

I am a lightweight and my teammates and I are always focused on making our boats better and faster. I myself am over 10 lbs under the limit and I am also too short to be able to compete well in open weight or heavy weight events. The lightweight category allows me and my fellow lighties to push ourselves and race with fair competition. Lightweight rowing is also different from open weight so all of the lightweight rowers would have to, in a way, re-learn how to row in a race making things worse not better.

Cameron Medel

I am naturally a light weight and don’t need to do anything to cut , I eat more than the heavy weights and still weigh 115 . Lightweights have a high metabolism by the way.

Christopher George

I am signing because there is no sense in reducing the scope and number of events at NATIONAL level. Its bad enough but understandable at Olympic level due to the politics and funding and the "need" to reflect global participation. At national level as many events as possible to should be the target. Additionally, the USA general population is grossly obese. To encourage lightweights to put on weight is ludicrous - to eliminate them is worse. To discourage ANY size person from taking active participation in any sport let alone the one we all love is a retrograde step. The advantages of keeping light is the reduction in the Western diet diseases such as T2 diabetes, inflammation, fatty liver etc etc

Harry Palmer

As a lightweight rower and a junior its very hard to find the level of success in a higher weight category. Especially people with a high metabolism who may find it hard to gain weight. It is essential that junior lightweight rowing and sculling goes on.

Elizabeth Whitehurst

I rowed in the light weight category in high school and it was the best experience and the best two years of my high school rowing career.

Stav Tsechansky

I am a lightweight that wants to row lightweight in college. It is extremley unfair to make lightweights compete against heavyweights.

Sylvia Dupaly

Please keep this sport for those people who love the sport but can’t compete on a heavyweight crew team. Eliminating the lightweight division is a form of discrimination!

Nathalie Dewolf

It is exceedingly short-sighted to cut lightweight rowing. USRowing should focus on improving the potential of the sport not on reducing its catchment area and appeal.

George Ross

I’m signing because I believe that those under 150 pounds (for high school level) have a clear disadvantage to those in the heavy weight category.

Raignier Naranjo

Competition promotes excellence, commitment, achievement, life experiences and invaluable lessons. Let us never take away these building blocks from our youth.

Jacqueline Lloyd

As a former rower and coach, just the thought of cutting lightweight events is ridiculous! There’s a reason for there being lightweight events, not just from a competitive standpoint, but also from a mental and body image standpoint. The overwhelming majority of lightweights are naturally that way, and you would be punishing them for simply being the way that they are. In a world full of judgement and body image issues, does rowing really need to be part of that? Rowing was my safe place as a high schooler, and I could not imagine if I was cut from a boat and unable to compete, or stuck in a boat that’s always going to be in the back of the pack, simply just because I was a lightweight. Don’t make this huge mistake, and ruin rowing for thousands of potential athletes.

David Reed

Keep lightweight rowing. I was a heavyweight. I still love to row (at 71). Along with cycling it is my favorite participation sport. I cannot support a national body who would deny competetive rowing to a major section of the population. To do so would be a betrayal of a national trust put in them, especially a betrayal of young people. How selfish! It would greatly pain me to think the opportunities I had are taken away from my otherwise equals.

ray regan

Why slash events? Rowing is a huge sport because it does not favor one type of athlete. It is open to all size of kids. Jason Reed started off as a coxswain because he was a small kid, too small to row lightweight. He grew up to be a Gold Medalist. Anyway, small kids grow into large ones. Lightweight rowing leads to more opportunities for people to participate. I rowed in the lightweight system and became a coach. I wouldn’t have had the same passion in heavyweight rowing..... it’s a bad idea to reduce participation by taking out the lightweights.... you will rip out a major recruiting tool

John Tomlinson

These young men and ladies work hard and show great dedication to their sport. Asking them to gain an extra 10 to 30 lbs just to compete is not healthy. These athletes should be respected for their natural talents and be allowed to compete in their own class. Carla Herling, R.Ph.

Beth Wilkinson

Crew is an extraordinary sport that should be available to more- not fewer - youth. Do not eliminate this option because some people push the limits to meet weight. That’s a monitoring matter that is not an inherent problem with the weight group.

Mackenzie Seward

Although I had the ability to row lightweight, I would have had to diet and watch my weight obsessively. I row open weight for that reason. There are many TRUE LIGHTWEIGHTS who sit naturally far under the cut off with a love of the sport who would no longer get the fair playing field to compete. Please don’t take all the work these athletes have done and put it all to waste. They are more than their size and telling them to just row in the open events would mean never competing the same way again.