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OKLAHOMA CITY -High school and middle school students who have wanted to try their hand at rowing will have the chance to try the sport for free.

OKC RIVERSPORT Junior Crew offers competitive rowing for kids between the eighth and twelfth grades from all backgrounds and all levels of athletic ability.

“All athletes are welcome,” said Head Coach Dinah Harjo, who was a competitive rower at Oklahoma City University. “The whole point is to give kids an opportunity to try rowing.”

Organizers say high school and middle school students can try rowing with the crew for one week, free of charge.

“Beyond rowing, OKC RIVERSPORT juniors have the opportunity to stretch the bounds of their local high school,” said Harjo. “Rowing in San Diego, seeing Boston at the Head of the Charles race, racing at the Head of the Hooch in Tennessee – it shows them where their dreams, their talent and their hard work can take them.”

Practice begins Aug. 19 and is Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Students who are trying out are not required to attend practice every day.

OKC RIVERSPORT Junior Crew offers more than $30,000 in scholarships every year to help students cover the costs of rowing fees and travel expenses. Over the past 12 years, Oklahoma City’s junior rowers have earned more than $8 million in collegiate scholarships.