September is the time to go back to school but it is also the time athletes start thinking about whether or not to sign up for rowing. Although rowing seems to be considered a sport that runs during the months approaching summer, rowers do train all year round. If you would like to become a rower there are really two halves to the sport of rowing. As you get familiar with Henley Island in St. Catharines you can really compare and describe the changes that occur between the fall and winter months, and the spring and summer months.
The season begins with pain as we all get on the routine of early mornings and late nights. Parents seem to get more information from their kids about becoming the chauffeur to all the practices throughout the year at Brock University, at the island, and after school. As more experienced rowers, we go down to the island a couple times in the fall to teach the new kids how to row. As the days ...view middle of the document...
Catharines until spring. Running, erging, and weight training are all slow and painful process but as a whole, the winter flies by.
The smell of spring slowly returns as the snow melts and the leaves grow back. March is still a cold month believe me, but we have to get back in our boats. Some years the snow melts faster and other years it takes too long. I remember two years ago we were on the water and in t-shirts over the March break. Meanwhile, last year, we didn’t get back to Henley Island until the beginning of April. It took forever for the leaves to grow back which usually calms down the strong spring wind over the course. And when we finally got some clear water by the dock, it was still a scary experience. If we went out to row we had to keep our eyes peeled for ducks, beavers, and especially large sheets of ice! The boats are so thin that these ice sheets can take the end of your boat off or put a whole in it, in a flash. You will be sinking into an ice bath after that and leaving that twenty-thousand dollar boat with your coach to pull it to shore. Every rower has flipped a boat though and you are lucky if you flip closer to the summer. But by April training is in full swing and regatta’s are incredible. The island becomes quite a lively place filled with clothing tents, food tents, and a lot more crews from out of town. The biggest event of the year for high school rowing has to be the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Championships with crews from across North America.
In conclusion, rowing is a year round sport as some may not think it is. And although the parents of all these rowers drive their kids every day to the rowing club, we hope as parents they get something out of it. The joy of seeing their kids at their best, at their worst and everywhere in between may bring them to see that rowing is not only a venue of health and fitness but teaches us core values of hard work and perseverance. And as for Henley Island, we can compare the differences between the 2 parts of the year but it still holds a place where one can feel as a part of a community of other athletes set at many different experience levels.