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Confessed Rower: Debra Neufeld

Debra Neufeld is a volunteer coach with the UFV rowing team. The Cascade spoke to her during the first training session for new student rowers last Saturday.

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By Paul Esau (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: September 12, 2012

Debra Neufeld is a volunteer coach with the UFV rowing team. The Cascade spoke to her during the first training session for new student rowers last Saturday.

When did you start coaching?

I started coaching in May 2011.

Did you start your rowing experience with the UFV program?

I had rowed [only] once before.

Did you have a first experience like [us] here today?

Actually I had a different experience. I started in May, so instead of starting with a bunch of new people I jumped in with varsity program right away. I got to go to the Canadian University Championship my first year, which most people who start in September don’t get to because the Canadian University Championship is in November.

Do you remember your first session with UFV? What was it like?

It was pouring rain. I was soaked and freezing, and I thought “what the heck am I getting myself into?”  Yet I couldn’t quit, I loved it!

What was the hardest thing for you to learn about rowing?

Probably that whatever you think your limit is, is fictional. Whatever you think that you can do as your maximum, that’s just your current goal and you have to push past it and push past it and push past it.

What keeps you coming back to rowing?

Absolutely everything. I love the feeling of being on the water. I love the girls [on the women’s varsity team], they’re great. On Sunday’s we don’t have practices and by Monday I feel like I’m missing all of them because I haven’t seen them for 24 hours … I’ve been injured this last year so out of 10 months I’ve only rowed three, but I’m still out here every day in the coach’s boat.

What would your advice be for the rowing virgins out on the dock today?

It’s never as easy as it looks. It’s not, but it’s fun. Put your all into it because it’s worth it!

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