Sport P.E.I. Awards – we have nominees!

Congratulations to Emily Cameron and Stephen Murray on being named finalists for the 2013 Sport P.E.I. Awards.  Kudos as well to Mike Gibson who was Rowing P.E.I.’s nominee for Coach of the Year.  

Here are the letters nominating Stephen and Emily for their awards.

Letter in Support of Stephen Murray – Nominee for Administrator of the Year

looking good

It was Stephen Murray’s dream in 2010 to revitalize the sport of rowing on Prince Edward Island.  He was inspired, in part, by his experience with the 2009 Canada Games rowing team.  Stephen was manager of that team and his son Scott was one of the Island competitors.  But there were only two rowers wearing the P.E.I. colours at the Games, hosted on the Island.  Stephen Murray was determined to grow the sport in time for the next Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Because P.E.I. hosted the 2009 Games, Stephen was able to network with key officials with Rowing Canada.  The following summer, Rowing Canada sent a starter kit of boats, oars and other equipment.  Stephen and a few volunteers set up at the Charlottetown Yacht Club and offered the first-ever Learn to Row program.  As word spread that summer, the club grew to a couple of dozen members.   Stephen spent hours in sculls with novice rowers and coaching from the safety boat.  When not on the water, he was also busy maintaining the boats and arranging their safe storage.  He is a volunteer president with many hats…coach, safety boat driver, boat maintenance person and expert trailer loader!   And there were also many hours in the boardroom over the last 3 years, growing Rowing P.E.I.’s presence within Sport P.E.I., and nationally, as the Island’s representative with Rowing Canada.

In 2011 and 2012, the club expanded even more, reaching about 50 members per season.  But Rowing P.E.I. was at a crossroads.  The Board needed to decide whether the Island would field a team for the 2013 Canada Games.

Stephen Murray’s dream came full circle in August 2013 as ten young rowers competed for Prince Edward Island, including Stephen’s daughter Lauren.

The P.E.I. team did not bring home any medals, though the women’s quadruple won a silver and men’s quad a bronze at the 2013 Sherbrooke Canada Games Test Regatta June 8 in Lac Magog, Quebec.  It was quite an accomplishment for Canada’s newest provincial rowing team.

Stephen has been at the helm as President of Rowing P.E.I. for 3 years.  Over that time, he has not only grown the membership, but he has also expanded the fleet of boats.  Rowing P.E.I. had to pass along the boats from Rowing Canada to another jurisdiction.  Stephen led the fundraising campaign to finance the purchase of two coastal doubles and a coastal quad, along with the racing sculls used by the Canada Games athletes.

Stephen is stepping aside as President this spring to concentrate on the programming side of the sport.  He is training to be a Level 2 coach, is an open water safety, a Masters competitive rower, and qualified as an official in the sport of rowing.  He hopes to continue to grow the sport.  His highlight has been to see people of all ages entering the sport and racing with his daughter in the open mixed double at the Atlantic Championships in Antigonish last fall. Rowing now seems on a smooth course into the future, thanks to Stephen Murray’s thousands of volunteer hours over the last 3 years.

We are pleased to nominate Stephen Murray for 2013 Volunteer Administrator of the Year.

emily wins

A Message in Support of Emily Cameron from Rowing P.E.I. – Nominee for Senior Female Athlete of the Year 2013

When Emily Cameron was growing up in Summerside, there was no organized rowing on Prince Edward Island.  Emily competed in track and field and played rugby for Three Oaks Senior High School …just like another of P.E.I.’s world-class athletes, Heather Moyse.  Emily picked up the sport of rowing as a graduate student at the University of Toronto, at the age of 23.  That was 2006.  Four years later, she was on the Canadian rowing team and took part in her first World Championship.  This past August, she and her teammates won silver at the 2013 World Championship in South Korea.  Not bad for someone who only rowed for the first time seven years earlier!!!

Emily has been generous in sharing her passion for rowing with novice rowers here on P.E.I.  When she returns to the Island, she finds time to meet with members of Rowing P.E.I.   In the summer of 2013, she went out in a racing scull with Canada Games coach Michael Gibson and competitors Aleya Quilty and Jamie MacKinnon.  It was a thrill for all three as Emily took them up to race pace.

Emily also shares stories about her training in London, Ontario.  It’s always interesting to hear about her efforts to load in enough calories to power her through three workouts a day.   She has also shared with us some of the challenges she has faced.  The rowers are always competing for a spot in a boat at international competitions.  She trains with teammates, but also her rivals for a seat, as they call it.  At the World Championship in South Korea, Emily was given extra responsibility in the women’s quadruple scull.  She was the one to call the pace as the boat headed towards the finish line.  In this particular race, the Polish team was closing in on the Canadians.  Emily upped the pace in her boat, and she and her teammates held on for the silver.

Emily has now set her sights on competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero.  She was disappointed not to make the team in 2012 and is determined to qualify for a boat at the next Games.

Emily has put aside her career to train full-time in rowing.  She has a Masters of Science specializing in the genetics of Type 2 diabetes.  She hopes to return to the field of diabetes education and prevention when she retires from rowing.  But for now, three workouts a day, on and off the water, and traveling the world to row are her focus.

Rowing P.E.I. is pleased to nominate Summerside’s Emily Cameron for Senior Female Athlete of the Year.