After months of quiet over the island and Lake Cunningham, Nassau Rowing Club (NRC) intends to kickstart the summer holidays with its 7th Annual Learn to Row Camp in accordance with Government and social distancing guidelines.
Beginning the week of 29 June 2020, NRC will teach another intake class of middle and high schoolers the basics of rowing under the careful guidance of Head Coach & Program Director KariAnne Kulig. She brings coaching and racing experience from top clubs such as Cambridge Boat Club and Community Rowing Inc in the greater Boston/Cambridge area, and Treasure Coast Rowing Club in Florida, and is excited to get athletes on the water again.
She says, “We’ve adjusted the way we’ve been training these past few months, and that feeling of finally pushing away from the dock is one of pure joy. Lake Cunningham is such a magical place; it’s easy to forget you’re in Nassau. My team has been working hard to prepare a safe and fun experience for everyone.”
Supporting Kulig are an assistant coach and a corps of junior leaders. Three junior leaders, in particular, learned to row through NRC’s partnership with CR Walker High School, where students row at no cost to them. This summer, Nassau Rowing Club is offering scholarships to government school students who want to try rowing. All students must pass a swim test, regardless of background, in accordance with US Rowing, British Rowing, and Rowing Canada Aviron rules.
Participating students often get bitten by the rowing bug and get hooked. “Last year, my son Marios signed up to the summer camp for 2 weeks and loved it so much that he continued for the full 6 weeks!” says Joanna Alexander, whose son participated in the 2019 camp, and has been rowing with NRC ever since.
“The Nassau Rowing Club summer camp was fun, engaging, motivating and Coach KariAnne offered a positive atmosphere and many team-building activities through which Marios not only built his confidence but also has established a sense of sportsmanship and a new found love for a great sport that he continues to enjoy today.”
“The huge athletic and social merits aside, rowing is also great for colleges,” says President Kyle Chea. “Rowing is closely linked to leading universities in the US and UK, and we want to prepare Bahamian high schoolers with athletic and academic drive to succeed at all levels. I think NRC is the only athletic club in the country to boast active membership of two All-Bahamas Merit Scholars: myself and Dehron Smith, this summer’s assistant coach.”
NRC hopes to use the Learn to Row Camp to build off the success of its first annual New Providence Secondary Schools Regatta in February, where crews from eight local schools competed on Lake Cunningham in four boat classes. Next year, they hope there will be even more.