Will Chermets, 14, of Cherry Hill, NJ, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at age three, but that hasn’t stopped him from being an active rower, and a participant in the BAYADA Regatta, where he competes as part of a local adaptive rowing club.
Now in its 38th year, the BAYADA Regatta is the oldest and largest all-adaptive regatta in the U.S. It will take place on the banks of the Schuylkill River on Saturday, August 17 from 8 am to 5 pm at St. Joseph’s University Boathouse, 2200 Kelly Drive in Philadelphia.
Athletes from more than a dozen rowing clubs across the country—who are classified according to their physical or visual impairment—compete in events for novice, veteran, and youth rowers. The BAYADA Regatta is hosted by Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing (PAR), part of the Philadelphia Center for Adapted Sports. PAR provides recreational and competitive rowing opportunities for people with disabilities.
For Will, who is competing in the BAYADA Regatta for the second time, rowing stands out from the other adaptive sports he plays. “It’s a unique sport that I’m able to play outside, versus other sports like hockey and basketball,” says Will.
“The BAYADA Regatta is special because it’s a really fun community event and great day overall,” he tells us. “It’s also a competition, which makes it even more fun. If you’re worried about trying rowing, it’s worth taking a shot – you might like it!”
The BAYADA Regatta, sponsored solely by BAYADA Home Health Care, is free and open to the public. Medals will be awarded to the athletes throughout the day. Music, crafts, and refreshments will be provided for volunteers and spectators.
For more information, visit https://www.bayada.com/regatta/