The award-winning documentary, A Most Beautiful Thing, will be shown on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at 4 pm at the Monmouth County Boys & Girls Club in Asbury Park at 1201 Monroe Avenue. The film is promoted as, “The inspiring true story of the first all-black high school rowing team, including members of rival gangs, willing to try a sport they knew nothing about, and how it changed their lives.” Recommended to kids who are 12 years and older, it is completely free. Refreshments will also be provided.

The film will be a kickoff for a 6-week kids’ indoor rowing program. Polli Schildge, a certified indoor rowing coach, is putting together a rowing program for Asbury Park kids at the Monmouth County Boys and Girls Club. She thought that this could be a wonderful opportunity for the kids of Asbury Park to get involved. “The Monmouth University (MU) Women’s Rowing coaches offered to help coach the kids along with some athlete friends,” Schildge mentioned. 

I believe that this film will inspire kids to have an interest in rowing on the water this summer.

Polli Schildge, certified indoor rowing coach

At the screening, Monmouth’s Rowing team will talk about their experiences with rowing, along with a representative from Navesink River Rowing Club (NRR) who will speak about the NRR Youth Program. Monmouth University offered 10 rowing machines and the Monmouth County Boys and Girls Club offered space for the program. She will host it for 6 weeks and will plan for more sessions later on. Schildge said, “I believe that this film will inspire kids to have an interest in rowing on the water this summer.” One important thing, according to Schildge, is that the kids have to be good swimmers. The Monmouth County Boys and Girls Club is offers swimming instruction to those who would like to learn. 

Rowing Team filming on location in Oakland Credit: A Most Beautiful Thing

Mary Mazzio, the Director of the film, was an Olympic rower. Grammy winner Common narrates, and the film is executive produced by Grant Hill and Dwyanne Wade.

The screening will take place at the Boys and Girls Club located at 1201 Monroe Avenue in Asbury Park on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at 4pm.  For more information, contact Polli Schildge at [email protected].

Dae’Sani Clarke is a 19-year-old Asbury Park resident and a rising Junior studying Journalism at Monmouth University. She has been writing for the Outlook Newspaper for the past three years. Recently, she became President of Monmouth University’s Chapter of the The National Council of Black Women. The main thing Dae’Sani enjoys about reporting is getting to know people and their stories.She believes reporters have the ability to lift voices and offer a platform for people to be heard.

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