Lake Braddock Crew was started in late 1999 by a group of interested and dedicated parents, students, and friends. Since that time, the Crew team has been committed to continued development and the attainment of excellence. Bruin Crew rows out of Bull Run Marina and participates as a member of the Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association. Rowing offers an outstanding opportunity to improve self-discipline while providing a wonderful means of learning about teamwork. We welcome anyone from the Lake Braddock Secondary School who wishes to learn about rowing and we fully support maximum participation in regatta competition.
History in Detail:
The idea of forming a rowing team in the Lake Braddock school district started in 1999 when a group of students and parents started brainstorming. In November 1999, Barry Huitema, LBSS Director of Activities at the time, stood in front of a crowd of around 300 interested students and parents to advise them on the challenges of establishing a new sport. The single biggest obstacle: funding!
Per state rules, schools can only fund sports offered in at least fifty percent of all schools in the state of Virginia; rowing, requiring at least a body of water big enough to host practices, did not meet the 50% requirement. Since no funds would be available from the school to support the sport, the financial burden would lie directly on the club sport organization.
Undeterred, a Boosters Club was quickly founded with a core group of determined parents which, under the leadership of our first president, Bob Jarcho, started trying to put all the pieces together including finding a practice site.
Sandy Run Regional Park, a beautiful river on the upper Occoquan reservoir and home of the Northern Virginia Rowing Center, was immediately considered, however, the facility was already at their limit and could not accept a new team. President Jarcho, with other members of the Board of Directors, eventually identified Bull Run Marina park as a possible site. As part of the Virginia Regional Parks Authority system, but operated under contract by George Mason University as a fishing and recreational marina, it looked perfect.
Negotiations with the Park Authority started and in mid-February of 2000 an agreement was reached. The newly formed Lake Braddock Bruins Crew Club finally had a home! Old decommissioned docks were brought up river from Sandy Run, overhauled, and secured in place; the grounds cleaned, leaves raked, and general debris removed; and boat racks and oar lockers built in a designated area of the park's gated parking lot. A security fence was installed a few days later.
On March 4, 2000, the first of the shells, the Laura Moody, was purchased and the team was officially in the water. During the first season, the team participated in regattas at Sandy Run and on the Anacostia River in Washington D.C. The results of this initial season were varied and success was primarily measured in completion of races not necessarily in the standings. Over the next several seasons, LB Crew made significant strides to become one of the larger and more highly competitive rowing teams in the Washington, DC area. Our first entry to the Stotestbury Cup, the largest and oldest scholastic rowing event in the world, was in 2002; our first invitation to the Charlie Butt Regatta on the Potomac in 2004.
The need for a more secure facility became evident when in the summer of 2001 some of the team's equipment was stolen. Board members started looking for a better alternative to the fenced area the team had at the time. Paul Meredith, Lake Braddock Crew president, suggested asking the Burke Volunteer Fire Department for help. The station's firehouse had burned down the year before and, while a new one was built, their fire engines were being stored in a 70 ft by 40 ft engineered fabric building. The Board of Directors officially ask them to donate their temporary garage once their new firehouse was finished. The department agreed and, with help from local businesses and community leaders, the foundation was laid in early 2002, and a boathouse finally erected at our home in Bull Run Marina.
With team membership now averaging over 80 athletes each year, LB Crew is becoming one of the largest team sports at Lake Braddock Secondary School.