The local South Orlando Rowing Association (SORA) “, an over 100-member club of middle school, high school, and adult rowers, is working toward coming back together stronger in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. In wake of the hurricane, the team’s boatyard and dock in Moss Park were destroyed by the wind and rain, creating a difficult, uphill battle in the effort to rebuild what was lost in the storm.
Not only is the team making strides to rebuild, but many of the members are training for a variety of upcoming important events. Lake Nona resident and VA employee Mike Varro will be rowing in the Para-Rowing Mixed Four Boat at the World Rowing Championships taking place this month in Sarasota. Mike also is currently training for the Paralympics. Along with Mike, SORA’s head coach’s son, Ben Davidson, also has been selected to participate at the World Rowing Championships in addition to currently training for the next Olympic Games.
With such prestigious and significant events on the horizon for two of the team members of SORA, the damage caused by Hurricane Irma comes at a time when the team is working harder than ever to prepare for what is just around the corner. Training for events like these is incredibly important and essential.
SORA is incredibly grateful for the kindness received from Lions Den Crossfit and the Lake Nona YMCA, who have been gracious enough to allow the rowers to use their facilities over the past few days so they don’t lose momentum in their training efforts.
“Irma did significant damage to Moss Park and to our facilities, including our boat storage, oar storage and dock, which will take weeks to repair. We are asking for any help you can offer so we can rebuild a stronger boatyard and get our boats back on the water again.”
The team has created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to help them to rebuild and to come back together as a team.
SORA is a well-decorated rowing team, having earned two state championships in 2016 along with numerous state medals. “These are dedicated kids who strive to be the best rowers. This devastation will not keep them down, but it’s going to take a lot to get back to where we were. We don’t just have youth programs, we also have adult rowing, veteran rowing, and adaptive/para rowing,” says Sarah Miller.
If you would like to support the South Orlando Rowing Association, visit http://nonahood.to/sorarebuild to donate to their GoFundMe page.