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Rowing is sport that 'sticks'

By Loren Nelson, 09/26/16, 12:00AM CDT


Rebecca Pennington took deep dive into Colorado Junior Crew after son got hooked on the sport

Webmaster of the Week: Sept. 26-Oct. 2


Rebecca Pennington


Colorado Junior Crew


Vice president, webmaster

Use of platform:

Registration, Sitebuilder


As a parent, Pennington said she took the “spaghetti approach” to sports with her son Trae. “If you throw enough things on the wall, eventually you are going to find a sport that sticks,” she said. “We went through the gamut.” Trae was 14 when he enrolled in a two-week rowing camp. “And he fell in love,” Pennington said. Now a high school junior, Trae is in his third year competing with the Boulder-based Colorado Junior Crew. Pennington remembers her days as a newbie rowing parent struggling to understand the sport. “As a parent it is still very fresh in my mind how little I knew about the sport,” she said. “I had no clue.” Not only did Pennington climb into a boat and learn how to row, she volunteered to join the Colorado Junior Crew’s board as a vice president in charge of marketing, communications and membership activities. “When they brought me on the board I said, ‘We have to fix the website,’ ” Pennington said. She helped transition the organization onto the SportsEngine platform more than a year ago, and she credits the switch for helping it grow from 30 athletes two years ago to 78 at the start of this season.

What she does:

Pennington’s work in building an online apparel store using SportsEngine’s Registration software, recently detailed in a SportsEngine Community Pro Tips article, was a big hit with Colorado Junior Crew members and parents. Her innovate approach in creating the store helped raise extra money for the organization through an increase in sales compared to previous years. Speaking of raising money, Pennington created a What’s in a Name section on the CJC History page that explains how donors can purchase naming rights to rowing shells. She shares the fascinating stories behind the G-Pow, Nancy and Vada Le names of CJC shells. In an effort to help future waves of newbie parents, Pennington created Getting Started, Rowing 101 and Terminology sections that help the uninitiated better understand the sport. She even created a Viewing a Race section that offers tips on what to bring and what to look for as a spectator.

Making her mark:

Pennington, who recently received a free “Extreme Homepage Makeover” from SportsEngine, created a 22-page media guide that outlines basic information about Colorado Junior Crew and the sport and provides numerous story ideas for local news organizations.

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About Loren Nelson

Loren Nelson is Community Manager at SportsEngine. He is also the National Media Editor and has served in a variety of other customer facing and media roles since 2009.

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