Coach Patrick Johnson has 20 years of experience at the high school and collegiate level and has been a leading advocate for adaptive rowing over the last decade. As founding director of multiple DC-based adaptive programs for rowers with intellectual, physical, and visual impairments he has introduced many deserving athletes to the thrills of both indoor and on-water rowing.
Patrick heads up the Athletes Without Limits (AWL)/DC Strokes/Veteran Leaders integrated rowing program, which is also a USRowing Freedom Rows designated Adaptive Program for Disabled Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces. The integrated teams partner with high school and collegiate rowers, coaches, veterans and volunteers to train together out the Anacostia Community Boathouse and compete in mainstream regattas and indoor rowing competitions throughout the country.
Patrick has played a critical role helping Athletes Without Limits achieve its mission for the inclusion of athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities into mainstream sport. What began as overseeing “Learn to Row” days at schools throughout the greater Washington area has led to five area high schools now including rowers with an intellectual disability as part of their High School Rowing teams. Rounding out the spectrum of opportunities, many rowers on the AWL team regularly compete in non-adaptive races at prestigious USRowing regattas as well as International-level Virtus (formerly Inas) events.
Such efforts have not gone unnoticed by the greater rowing community and in 2019 Patrick received USRowing’s Isabel Bohn Award, which is given to an individual or organization achieving measurable success in expanding rowing opportunities for those with physical and intellectual disabilities.
Visit Athletes Without Limits DC Sports website at dcsports.athelteswithoutlimits.org.