In March, Youngstown State University (YSU) will receive funding under the Boating Safety Education Grant.
One of 19 organizations to be awarded money under the grant, YSU was awarded $16,506.50 from The Ohio Department of Natural Resources on January 15, with a promise to match about $5,000. R.J. Markowitz, the coordinator of Adventure Rec, wrote the grant for three specific things: to purchase equipment for the kayak program; to purchase stand-up paddleboards (SUP) and related accessories; and to train four individuals as instructors in either kayaking or paddle boarding.
“With the new equipment and instructors, we are able to double our kayaking offerings when it comes to trips and clinics,” said Markowitz. “We are also able to add SUP to our trips and clinics programming.”
One of the programs to be first impacted by this grant funding will be the “Learn to Kayak” clinic. Students attend a three-hour pool course that goes over kayaking basics inside and outside of the water, reviewing essential equipment, basic rescue techniques, planning and paddle strokes. “Folks coming into this class with no experience will come out able to plan their own outing on flat water,” said Markowitz. “I also hope we can use this program as a springboard to encourage students to participate in all the great new programs moving forward.”
There are four specific ways Markowitz sees this grant impacting the YSU community:
Doing the leg work for the grant consisted of outlining a program from start to finish. Markowitz said YSU also has to provide yearly reports on classes, staff and equipment, and have the program evaluated by the state.
During the grant application process, Markowitz learned several things along the way other campus rec professionals could benefit from. He shared them below: