About Us

Manatee County Youth Rowing, Inc. (MCYR) is a community-based, not-for-profit organization located at the Manatee County Fort Hamer Boathouse on the Manatee River.

Our Mission

MCYR’s mission is to provide rowing programs in a positive and competitive environment for all ages. Our goal is to promote teamwork, strong character, personal integrity, fitness, and good nutritional habits. We encourage all members to actively volunteer and be involved in their community.  We provide an environment where rowers of all ages can work together in a constructive team environment, fostering personal and social skills of significant value that are essential to our community.


Sometimes it takes a village to create a youth rowing organization. The Manatee County Youth Rowing (MCYR) organization is the culmination of all the hard work from county commissioners, high school superintendent, local high school principals, athletic directors, volunteer coaches, and parents.

Comprised of student rowers from Manatee County middle and high schools.  MCYR encompasses over 60 athletes, most of whom did not know what a rowing shell looked like or had ever been in one.

Beginning with one 8 and one 4 for Palmetto High School, the combined high school fleet has grown to include four 8s, three 4s and a number of sculling boats in less than a year, thanks to the generous donations of Jane Lynch of TV’s “Glee” and her partner Lara Embry, local developers Benderson Development, Bill Vernon of Rives Isle, Pat Neal, the River Wilderness Community, and the tireless efforts of the parents and coaches to bring awareness of this opportunity for Manatee County’s youth.

Rowing out of the new county boathouse at Ft. Hamer, the MCYR athletes help maintain the building and grounds as well as host events for visiting collegiate teams during winter and spring breaks.  These visiting teams make a substantial positive economic impact in Manatee County, and all the welcome and hospitality they receive ensures they will continue to return year after year.


  • Manatee County School Board launched the first high school team when Palmetto High School accepted the new sport
  • Trish Jackson was asked to implement the program
  • Palmetto High School Spring 2011 team
  • School Board funded two rowing shells and equipment ($30,000)
  • Additional schools joined, no financial sport from the school board and a need to maintain a viable program resulted in the formation of a not-for-profit
  • December of 2011 Manatee County Youth Rowing, Inc was formed
  • 2012 Palmetto HS Crew received national recognition by qualifying for the National Scholastic Championships
  • 2013 first middle school program
  • 2014 – 2015: After 3 ½ years of volunteer coaches MCYR began a fee-based program
  • 2015 First Masters Program
  • 2015 Palmetto HS Crew Women’s Double wins State Championship, MCYR Men’s Jr. Varsity wins 3rd