"Harmony, balance, and rhythm. They're the three things that stay with you your whole life. Without them, civilization is out of whack. And that's why an oarsman, when he goes out in life, he can fight it, he can handle life. That's what he gets from rowing."  -George Pocock

On April 21, 2018, the athletes of East Tennessee Rowing will undergo a grueling marathon of indoor rowing as part of our annual Erg-a-thon. This event is our largest fundraising effort of the year with 100% of funds going toward our Capital Equipment Fund for much needed equipment for the club’s youth and outreach progams.

Since 2006, East Tennessee Rowing promotes the Olympic sport of rowing in the Tennessee foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains by sponsoring recreational and competitive training that draws athletes from Blount, Knox and Loudon Counties. Our mission is to continue the legacy of developing highly skilled and competitive rowers through community education and training in the sport of rowing. We are dedicated to the belief that personal fitness and overall wellness are achievable goals for everyone. That rowing has the unique ability to promote athletic development and personal growth through teamwork, discipline, and physical fitness. We combine intensive rowing activities with small group fitness and personal training to empower youth and adults to find success of the team rather than the individual and to pursue excellence in all dimensions of their lives.

East Tennessee Rowing is not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization relying on; sponsorships, donations, fundraising, and membership dues, to sustain our mission and keep our program strong and to provide the facilities, coaching, and equipment. Rowing, as you can imagine, is very dependent on specialized equipment, as you can have the most talented athletes but if your equipment doesn’t fit or work well, it’s hard to train properly and win races. Some of our boats are 10+ years old and must be replaced, which is not cheap, a new eight person shell can cost $42,000. In the past 18 months, our roster has had a 300% growth. In order to provide every rower, the chance to participate, we simply need more seats, which means more boats and oars, rowing machines, coxswain equipment and coach safety boats to support it.


Similar to a walk-a-thon, the Erg-A-Thon raises funds through collecting pledges or contributions for rowing distance on stationary rowing machines (a.k.a. ergs), in 12-hours. This year our goal is to make the full distance and raise $25,000 for our Capital Equipment Fund. In 2017 we completed 832 kilometers and raised just over $6000.  

Once the Spring season registration closes our athletes will start collecting pledges for meters rowed during the event. Pledges may be made by anyone (family, neighbors, church, and local businesses). Each sponsor making a pledge will write their own name, pledge per 100 meters rowed, and maximum pledge. To reach our goal, we hope that each participant secure $500 in pledges/donations. Athletes may collect a contribution in advance or return to collect outstanding pledges over the week following the event, but all donations be turned in together. Participants may then collect outstanding pledges over the next week. 

[Pledge Form Download]

On the day of the event our crews will take on the challenge to row 1,049 kilometers or 652 miles, the length of the Tennessee River from Knoxville (TN) to Paducah (KY). The team will split into five crews (Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, Freshmen, and Middle School). Each crew has a goal of completing 210 kilometers (130.5 miles) in 12-hour. Each athlete will take turns during the event to complete a portion of the distance. As athletes, complete meters coaches or coxswains will be verifying and recorded the distance on the participant’s pledge sheet. Parents and friends may help pull meters toward distance goal, these meters will not be counted toward pledge meters. The Erg-a-thon winners will be determined by a combination of amount of money raised and the time to finish the race.

Corporate Sponsors

  • East Tennessee Rowing is always interested in corporate involvement in our programs to make them a success. We are searching for corporations that are willing to sponsor a rowing machine for the year ($1000), event sponsors ($2,500), or offer matching funds on participant pledges. 
    • All corporate sponsors will be featured on our website throughout the year. 
    • All names, logos, and links are subject to ETRO approval.
    • Donations are non-refundable and are recognized for one year from the date of donation. Logo placement and boat naming rights for higher-level donors will be addressed on a donation-by-donation basis.
    • ETRO does not sell or otherwise share email addresses, phone numbers, addresses or other contact information of its rowers or parents.
  • We could use your help! Any amount helps and we do appreciate any tax-deductible donation you can make. Remember small donations add up and get us closer to our goal! East Tennessee Rowing Organization is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit community club sport organization based in Louisville, Tennessee. 
  • For questions or concerns, or to volunteer, contact:
    • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 865-850-4649
    • Make checks out to East Tennessee Rowing. Donations can be mailed to 250 E Broadway Ave, Maryville, TN 37804. Make sure to post on the check who you are supporting.
    • All contributions are tax deductible as much as the law allows. (FTID 26-3986313)
    • ETRO provides tax receipts, identifying monetary amounts or personal property donated.

We look forward to all our participants having a great time, and thank you for your support!