Last week, Dr. Sara Simmons, a hand and wrist specialist with Coastal Orthopedics, served as the keynote speaker for the 2019 USRowing Youth National Championships graduation ceremony at Nathan Benderson Park. A former high school and collegiate rower and U.S. National Team member, Simmons is still involved with the sport and has spent the past three years serving on Nathan Benderson Park’s sports medicine team. The June 5 ceremony celebrated the academic accomplishments of senior student-athletes competing at the Youth National Championships June 6-9. Simmons was one of three speakers, including USRowing CEO Patrick McNerney and a senior student-athlete, who shared insight with the 2019 graduating class. During her speech, Simmons spoke about the importance of staying true to yourself and fighting for what you believe in whether that is rowing, a job or your future career.
The USRowing Youth National Championships serve as the premier youth rowing event in the U.S., with approximately 1,500 athletes that represented nearly 150 teams from across the country. The crews competed for national titles in 18 boat classes. This year marked the third time Suncoast Aquatic and Nature Center Associates, Inc. (SANCA), a not-for-profit business created to manage Nathan Benderson Park, has hosted the Youth National Championships.