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Marilyn Koblan is a founder and board member of the Para Rowing Foundation. Decades of practice in prestigious hospitals as a medical and surgical critical care nurse were foundational to her desire to assist others in gaining their maximum well-being. 

After moving to Boston, rowing attracted her passion for wellness. Her background in critical care aligns with the management of athletes with complex needs. Combining these interests began as a volunteer with in-patient Military Veterans where Marilyn observed and assisted in the utilization of rowing as recreational therapy. This experience launched an opportunity to work with Community Rowing, Inc., measuring health outcomes and performing intakes for the Military Veterans Rowing Team.
Marilyn is the former Military and Para Program Intake and Program Coordinator for Community Rowing Inc., a USRowing training center partner. This role placed her in the unique position to develop processes and innovations to support each athlete’s experience. Through an individualized intake process all individuals are approached as potential athletes.  This creates an environment for meeting the athlete where they are, while developing a plan for maximizing their health and performance. Her participation in the Harvard Graduate Certificate Program in Organizational Behavior is testament to her commitment to the application of the latest leadership and management techniques in order to provide the best framework to support athletes. 


The simple question of where to send para athletes to receive focused, individualized training so that they may excel in the sport of para rowing first elicited Marilyn’s curiosity and then prompted her response. When it is commonplace for a parent to send their ten year old to soccer or lacrosse camp to develop their skills, this imbalance of equity, power and inclusion is remarkable, Clearly, this could not continue.


The new answer: para athletes need exactly what other athletes need to be successful. This foundational premise has resulted in an exclusively para focused, five day intensives. This offering, a para-centric intensive training, removes the first barrier to athletic participation for those with a disability.

Para Rowing Foundation is a passion project for Marilyn. She has donated her time and finances to the cause.

You can reach Marilyn by emailing

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Marilyn Koblan
Founder, President and Intake Specialist
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