TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett stood with rowing pioneer Arshay Cooper in front of a foggy Wabash River this morning. The mayor read aloud a proclamation declaring March 12, “Arshay Cooper Day”.
This is the start of an effort to bring a regatta to the city.
In 1998, Cooper, a lifelong proponent of the sport, helped form the first, all black, high school rowing team in the nation. Now a movie has been made showcasing his journey.
That movie will be shown to 7th and 8th grade students in Vigo County, in hopes of “inspiring the next Arshay Cooper”.
Cooper himself says investing in the sport, could make an impact on the city down the line:
“The goal is here is to get kids out on the water give them some academic support.. some local and emotional support if they need it. And connect them to a college coach, row in college, maybe make the national team and maybe come back and invest in Terre Haute.”