US Rowing honors founder of Friends of Port Rowing

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Mitch Tamkin, president and founder of Friends of Port Rowing, to be awarded prestigious Jack Kelly Award by US Rowing.

Mitch Tamkin, president and founder of Friends of Port Rowing, will receive the prestigious Jack Kelly Award from US Rowing. The award is given annually to an outstanding individual who represents the ideals that Jack Kelly exemplified: superior achievements in rowing, service to amateur athletics, and success in their chosen profession, thereby serving as an inspiration to American rowers.

“Through single-minded determination, Mitch Tamkin helped create a rowing program that not only produces championship caliber athletes but also emphasizes the importance of instilling the fundamentals of the sport in young athletes, no matter the level, so that the skills learned in rowing can be used to enhance the future endeavors of the young athletes who have participated in Port Rowing,” said one Friends of Port Rowing board member.

Tamkin began his rowing career while attending Kent School, where he earned the opportunity to row for two junior national teams. Tamkin rowed the bow seat for the Four with Cox that won a silver medal at the Junior World Championships in Villach, Austria in 1976. Mitch went on to be a successful oarsman at the University of Pennsylvania, dedicating hours to making boats go fast. Notable wins include rowing in the five-seat in the freshman eight that won the Eastern Sprints and forming part of the team that won the Ten Eych Trophy at the IRA National Championships three consecutive years under Ted Nash.

In addition to starting two paper trading companies, Tamkin assisted in the formation and growth of Friends of Port Rowing, where he is now president. The program has evolved at a rapid pace, becoming the largest on Long Island. Since 2014, he has been a board member of the National Rowing Foundation, dedicating his time to promoting rowing and making the sport more accessible.

Tamkin’s leadership upholds the highest level of coaching, encourages the rowers to reach their full potential as athletes, and directs Port Rowing to be a contributing member in our local community.

“I am thrilled, honored, and completely surprised to have been nominated and awarded such a prestigious award,” Tamkin said. “I have admired all of the previous recipients, and I feel privileged and extremely proud to be in their company.”

US Rowing is the overseeing body for the sport of rowing. The awards ceremony will take place at the US Rowing National Convention in San Diego in December.

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