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 located on the Schuylkill River where it flows through Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, with most of the clubs being located 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.”
At its founding there were nine clubs with approximately 300 members, all located along a stretch of the Schuylkill River which runs through Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Clubs represented at the founding included America, Camilla, Chebucto, Falcon, Independent, Keystone, Neptune, Pennsylvania, and University Barge Club. Current member clubs include 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 in the Navy have a rich history, and have produced a large number of Olympic and World class competitors.