Bainbridge Island’s future rowing center, which will be the first of its kind in Kitsap County and provide much-needed support for rowing programs in the greater West Sound community, has got a name: The Stan Pocock Legacy Rowing Center. The Bainbridge Island Rowing center will be named in honor of the beloved UW rowing coach and pioneering builder of racing shells, who plays an important part in Daniel James Brown’s best-selling The Boys in the Boat.
In addition, a major donor who wishes to remain anonymous stepped forward with a $500,000 gift to help fund the building of the rowing center. This contribution helped BIR complete Stage 1 of construction—building the foundation—and provided seed funding for Stage 2, completion of construction.
Pocock was one of the most successful coaches ever for UW freshman rowers, coaching the powerhouse team from 1947 to 1955. He also coached eight different crews to the Olympics between 1956 and 1964, bringing home a record four gold and two bronze medals. In addition, Stan ran the legendary Pocock family boatbuilding shop for almost 20 years and is credited with creating the first fiberglass rowing shell.
“Stan believed that rowing changes people’s lives and unites communities,” says Sue Pocock, Stan’s wife of 22 years. “So much of Stan’s work centered on expanding access to rowing and all of its benefits in the Pacific Northwest. He also had a personal connection to Bainbridge Island, and two of his granddaughters rowed for BIR. As this beautiful new rowing center comes to life, it’s a fitting tribute to Stan’s vision and life’s work that it bears his name.”
BIR and the Pocock Family have collaborated with the George Pocock Rowing Foundation in the naming of the center. “Stan Pocock believed that anyone with the desire to row should have the opportunity to participate in the sport,” says Matt Lacey, Pocock Foundation Director. “He advanced that goal through his life and exemplified the Pocock Foundation’s mission, which is to build and support high quality programs and facilities that promote access to and excellence in rowing and that use rowing as a means to foster physical activity, health, leadership, and community engagement. These are all goals that BIR shares, and we’re pleased that the new rowing center on Bainbridge Island will be named in honor of Stan’s contributions to rowing in the Puget Sound region and the sport of rowing in general.”
Bringing Rowers Together
“It’s inspiring to see our community joining together to create a rowing center on Bainbridge Island,” says BIR Board President Sue Entress. “Not only will the facility bring year-round vitality to Waterfront Park, but it also supports our goal of unifying rowers throughout the West Sound region. One way we accomplish this is through hosting regattas on Bainbridge such as The Bill Richards Memorial Regatta, which draws participation from across Kitsap County. While Bainbridge Island Rowing may be the first rowing group in our region to build a rowing center, we hope to serve as a model for the many organizations that share our commitment to promoting good health, building community, and nurturing a love of our natural resources.”
Fundraising for the completion of the rowing center is now in full swing, and BIR is actively seeking donor partners. For more details about the center visit the Stan Pocock Legacy Rowing Center page. Donate to the center on our donations page or by using the button below.