For those who are keen on team sports, such as soccer, C0VID-19 has made for a disappointing summer. But rowing in single seat boats, outside on the beach, fits the Covid constraints. As a result, Aviron Knowlton (AKR) has had a wonderful season.
By a stroke of fate, AKR acquired the services of an internationally renowned youth coach, Akram Othmani. He designed a youth camp for the club. After the first week, his first group of students were so thrilled that they all signed up for another week and, more importantly, told all their friends.
To the surprise of their parents, the kids were on the beach at 8 a.m. sharp. By the end of the week, most had mastered the basic skills. By the end of the season, the “old hands” were now tutoring the newer rowers. Some of the stronger young rowers have graduated to form a youth group that has the potential for joining the High Performance team. As an aside, rowing, especially for women, offers more scholarships in US universities than any other sport.
This winter Akram will be visiting our local schools, and working with them to set up a school program for next summer. AKR will also be talking with the organizers of the Salamanders Day Camp to offer a program. The Knowlton Lions Club has kindly funded this work.
The adults in TBL have also been active on the lake this summer. Marlene Royle, one of the leading Master’s Coaches in North America, is a local. Three times a week, groups of people, well beyond childhood, have discovered the peace of mind and the satisfaction that comes with rowing. The club has had to set up shifts to accommodate the demand.
With all this activity, rowing has not been part of the overcrowding problems at Douglass Beach. The adults are finished by 9.30 a.m. and the kids are done by midday.
We look forward to making rowing at school, much like the Ski Program, a core experience for kids and their parents who live in our community.
This article first appeared in Tempo