Row, row, row your boat over one kilometre and try not to die

By Catherine Stewart (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: October 29, 2014

It was cold and wet during practice, but this was nothing new for the UFV rowing team. (Image: Holly Wingert)

It was cold and wet during practice, but this was nothing new for the UFV rowing team. (Image: Holly Wingert)

It certainly takes dedication to be a rower, but it’s not as hard as you may think.

Saturday morning saw the UFV rowing teams out on the water with teams from UBC and SFU. It seems the cold and rain was nothing new for the teams, who took this as just another day of practice.

While usually it would be a neck-to-neck day of racing for these teams, today they got together to help each other practice. Nothing pushes you to do better than having your competitors nipping at your heels, even if it is just a practice. It gave the teams a good idea where they were at in their training, whether they needed to keep improving, or if they were right on target.

Ben Frizzo and Katelyn Offereins gave the lowdown of what it’s like to be a rower. First off: yes, rowers really are as fit as you might have thought.

“It’s actually very easy,” Offereins said. “Even if you’re not athletic, it can get you pretty fit without needing skill. It’s a full-body workout that works your legs, arms, and even your core. Instead of skill, it’s more about coordination.”

But rowing is for the commited; there is no designated season, as they meet year-round. For winter training, the team usually sticks with weights and machines. While summer training is casual, it’s no time to slack off, as the fall and winter seasons are the most intense when it comes to racing.

Currently the focus is on devlopment, according to Frizzo and Offereins.

“We’re recruiting right now and trying to get newcomers up to the varsity level. We’d also like to get better boats,” Offereins said.

Frizzo and Offereins also offered advice for students interested in rowing: sign up for the learn-to-row program to get a basic understanding and feel of the sport. Participants in the program are likely to be trained by varsity members.