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To Whom This May Concern at USRowing, 

My teammates and I recently learned of the potential that lightweight rowing categories could be cut from USRowing’s youth events this upcoming season. My team like many others across the country, consists of a majority of lightweight women and men. To put it into perspective, the varsity women’s team in the 2018-2019 racing season consisted of 89% lightweight women. Lightweight rowing offers us the opportunity to race in highly competitive events while still giving us the privilege of racing girls and boys our own size. 

Not only are many of our teammates lightweight but, many are 10-30 pounds under the weight limit. Cutting lightweight events puts these boys and girls at a severe disadvantage going into the next season as their bodies naturally sit at this low weight. Cutting lightweight rowing is unfairly asking them to gain an immense amount of weight just to be somewhat competitive in open weight categories. Speaking not only on behalf of my lightweight teammates, rowing is our passion. We train seven days a week, pushing ourselves physically and mentally past our limits each and every day, and we believe we've earned the right to compete in the lightweight category for our hard work, commitment and determination. It is extremely disappointing that USRowing would consider making this monumental decision that would discourage hundreds of lightweight athletes from competing in a sport that has been their passion and focus for years, dashing their goal of competing at Nationals. 

My teammates and I love rowing with everything we have, so please, we are begging of you, do not strip us of the opportunity to be highly competitive and successful next season. Thank you for everything that you do to support our endeavors in this sport and giving us the platform to race at regional and national levels. We are grateful for USRowing, and we ask that you seriously consider our concerns. Thank you.