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 (email@example.com), 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,
St. Catharines Rowing Club
The St. Catharines Rowing Club has a long tradition of competing at the highest level in the sport of rowing.