The Schuylkill Navy
Biography:The Schuylkill Navy is an association of amateur rowing clubs of Philadelphia. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest amateur athletic governing body in the United States. The member clubs are all on the Schuylkill River where it flows through Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, mostly on the historic Boathouse Row.
By charter, the Schuylkill Navy’s object is "to secure united action among the several Clubs and to promote amateurism on the Schuylkill River." Over the years, the group has had a role in certain ceremonial and state functions. The success of the Schuylkill Navy and similar organizations contributed heavily to the extinction of professional rowing and the sport's current status as an amateur sport.
At its founding, it had nine clubs; today, there are 12: Fairmount Rowing Association, Crescent Boat Club, Bachelors Barge Club, University Barge Club, Malta Boat Club, Vesper Boat Club, College Boat Club, Penn Athletic Club Rowing Association (Penn AC), Philadelphia Girls' Rowing Club (PGRC), Gillin Boat Club and St. Joseph's University and St. Joseph's Prep. At least 23 other clubs have belonged to the Navy at various times. Many of the clubs have a rich history, and have produced a large number of Olympians and world-class competitors.