Last week Rowing Canada Aviron cancelled the National Championships and Head of the Charles announced that their regatta would be held virtually. These announcements pretty much closed the door on any remaining chances for a real regatta in 2020.
Niagara enters Stage 3 on July 24 which will open more places of business but still requires 2 metre physical distancing for people who are not from the same household. For rowing this means that we can continue to permit singles and doubles or pairs for same household rowers. We do not have approval to expand to fours, quads, or eights.
Our coaches have done a spectacular job maintaining four shifts of rowers on weekdays and three per day on the weekend. Over 90 rowers have been able to get on the water and benefit from our coaching staff’s commitment. Several coaches have decided
to take a well-earned break come August however our interim Club Captain, Jim Marino (firstname.lastname@example.org), is confident we can maintain all shifts.
Jim is currently working on staging an intramural regatta. He said that the word “regatta” is being used in the broadest possible terms. It may be age/weight adjusted head to head racing or adjusted 2,000 metre time trials or possibly a head race format from the starting gates, around the island and continue to the finish line. Whatever format is decided on it will give our rowers something to have fun participating in and to enjoy a bit of competition.
I commented in previous updates that the SCRC, like so many businesses, has been hit extremely hard by the virus. As a not- for-profit organization, we do not carry over significant funds from year to year. The Club always tries to charge members a fair fee and use that revenue to pay regatta entries, equipment expenses (new shells, coach boat operating costs, shell repairs), shell house costs (water, electrical) and our share of the Island maintenance. While many of these costs went away (like regatta costs) or were reduced or waived (Island maintenance), some did not.
With revenue down by well over 90% from 2019, we have been managing on the small reserve we carried over to 2020. It is an awkward position to be in to ask members to consider donating during a time that is so difficult for so many.
We have established a donation site here - https://www.sport4ontario.ca/c19.html
When we set it up last Spring, we optimistically hoped rowing would return to normal for the summer. The loss of $100,000 we stated for the Spring will now be close to 3 times that much for all of 2020.
I know many of our members are not able to help at this time. Our commitment to you for when we can return to normal will be as strong as ever. If, however, you are in a position where you can help please consider a donation.
The Board has committed to doing everything possible to cut expenses and ensure we remain solvent. The support of our membership and former members has been reason our Club has survived for 117 years. More than ever before, we need that support now.
We received notification from Row Ontario last April that they were going to launch an Ontario Rowing Hall of Fame. They asked all Ontario clubs to submit candidates in 5 categories – Athlete, Crew, Coach, Builder, and Umpire. One of our Directors, Craig Kozun-Young, agreed to take on the difficult task of creating a list of nominees from the club. Given our legacy you can imagine the difficulty in nominating only a few in each category. It is not unreasonable to come up with 20, 30 or more nominees in each!
The list got finalized and we expect Row Ontario will announce the first ever inductees in the Fall. If a person or crew you felt should be on the list isn’t there, it’s not because they don’t deserve it! Inducting the first group from among all Ontario clubs will be a difficult exercise. There will be other years and we will submit more names!
Stay tuned for Jim’s announcement of the selected intra-mural “regatta” dates and events. It may not be The Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, but then again, there is no regatta that can compare with it anyway!
Best in Sports,
From the St. Catharines Rowing Club Newsletter
This week for sure… with more to come…?
I come from an era in our sport that on reflection seems beyond strange. Water bottles were unheard of in the late 60’s. To suggest to your coach (true for my coach) that after 2 hours of workout on days like these – “Coach, could we stop at the dock for some water?” - would have been equivalent to asking to be cut from the crew.
The Henley course was not as “clean” as it is today but after 2 hours of 1,000-meter pieces in +90F (pre Celsius…) heat I was not the only one that scooped a mouthful of water from beside the boat.
They say – what does not kill you, makes you stronger. Whether it made me stronger is debatable, but I am still here so… I envy the few scullers that can be on the course right now. There is a sense of real accomplishment to push through a workout on hot and humid days – even better if you can hydrate while doing it!
We received permission from RCA, Row Ontario, and Niagara Regional Health to expand rowing to include same household doubles and pairs. Our interim Club manager, Jim Marino scrc- email@example.com is working with our Rowing Committee to review equipment and those people (from the same household) that would like to take advantage of these shells. No word yet on when we might expand to quads, fours, or eights.
Our move to online self check-in/check-out has gone reasonably well. However, some rowers have neglected to check-out and there have been some comments that the process is unnecessarily repetitive and long. We are looking to make it simpler, but I feel obliged to say again – These are not normal times!
We are doing this because its required to provide tracking information should someone test positive for the virus. If you are a current rower or coach, PLEASE complete the check-in/check-out information whenever you come to the Island. It is a small inconvenience to be able to row.
Had the pandemic not occurred, this past weekend would have seen us wrapping up our trip to Henley Royal. Perhaps with 2 SCRC victories! I have been asked about the money to fund the trip that was raised from our members and numerous supporters. When Henley Royal was cancelled, the SCRC Board immediately voted unanimously to sequester all monies donated for Henley Royal 2020 and save it for 2021... we hope!
It has been observed that most forms of planning have almost become impossible. While we can be optimistic, in the current environment we do not know what the next week might bring let alone the next month, 6 months or year.
From Wikipedia – “It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: 'And this, too, shall pass away'". How much it expresses!
I, for one, can not wait for this to be true of the virus and 2020… Thank you for your continued support.
Best in Sports,
All good things (and bad things!) eventually come to an end. The bad things – like this virus – cannot end fast enough. The good things always feel like they end too soon.
Mark Welsh has been the SCRC Captain for the last 14 years. This has been a particularly good thing! During this time, the Club has benefitted from his leadership, program development and professionalism. He has been the “face” of the Club for members, supporters and other Clubs in Canada and the U.S. As Mark said when he announced his decision to make a career change – “As much as I will miss the Club, I’m doing it at a time when you have an opportunity to reflect on how you want to replace the things I do.” He is right. As the Club’s one and only employee, Mark covered a lot of ground and his skills both in boat repair and working with coaches and athletes grew.