Power Up with Rowing P.E.I.

News Release: Friday November 7, 2014

Power Up with Rowing P.E.I.

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Island athletes of all ages are invited to climb on an erg and find out how they stack up against Canada’s top rowers.

The erging challenge is part of a one-day event called “Power Up with Rowing P.E.I.”.  The Island sports association is joining forces with Holland College, Rowing Canada Aviron, ParticipACTION, CBC and True Sport in celebrating the Power of Sport through RBC’s Sports Day in Canada on Saturday November 29th.

Rowing is a great way to get into shape — and stay there — at any age.  This event is open to anyone from 15 to 60+ interested in using rowing for fitness or with aspirations of becoming competitive.  For those participants born in the years 1997 to 1999, they could become part of P.E.I.’s 2017 Canada Games team. Others may have their sights set on the national team while others could participate in the extensive summer schedule of master’s competitions.

“Rowing has something to offer everyone, from a varsity athlete looking for their next challenge to recreational rowers looking to enjoy our beautiful waterways and coastline” says Mike Gibson, P.E.I.’s top technical coach.

Particularly exciting is the growth of coastal rowing which is rumored to soon become an Olympic event. This style of rowing uses boats suited to rough seas and has competitors launching through the surf — which is exhilarating both to do and watch.

“Coastal rowing and P.E.I. are a perfect combination,” explains Gibson.

“Our expansive beaches and clean waters make this a great location to grow the sport…which we hope to do,” adds Gibson.

At the “Power Up” event at Holland College on Saturday November 29th, participants will get a chance to try out an erg, or rowing machine. The standard test is a 2000 metre row, with Masters and younger athletes having the option of doing 1000 metres.  In addition, there will be demonstrations and instruction on strength training suitable for developing rowers.

Emily Cameron is thrilled to see potential rowers of all ages getting a chance to try out her sport. The native of Summerside has been a member of Canada’s national rowing team since 2010.

Cameron competed in track and field and played rugby for Three Oaks Senior High School.  She 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. In 2013, she and her teammates won silver at the World Championship in South Korea.  In 2014, she and her fellow rowers finished 6th in the world.

Emily Cameron encourages Island athletes to give rowing a chance.

“I’m proof that it’s a sport that you can pick up at any age and be competitive,” says Cameron.

Cameron can also provide some insight into the kind of training that it takes to be a competitive rower at the international level.

“On average, we do about three hours of cardio a day, including rowing and cross-training. We lift weights three times a week, and we do core workouts twice a week.”

Emily Cameron has her sights set on the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Brazil.  And she knows that athletes in her sport are considered some of the fittest at the Olympics.  That puts the pressure on to keep on training hard.

And a tip to rookie rowers?  Despite what many might think, rowing is not about upper body strength.

“Believe it or not it is legs,” explains Cameron. “I would say the rowing stroke is 70 per cent legs.”

Anyone who wants to try out an erg to find out what Emily Cameron is talking about is invited to “Power Up with Rowing P.E.I.” on Saturday November 29th.    If you want to row next summer, this is the perfect chance to learn the basics and start your training so you will be ready when summer returns.

“Power Up with Rowing P.E.I.” takes place Saturday November 29th in the Holland College Gymnasium between 9 o’clock and noon. Because there are limited seats on the ergs, participants are encouraged to pre-register by sending an email to rowingpei@gmail.com. To find out more about Rowing P.E.I., you can visit the website: www.rowingpei.ca

To the media: for more information or interviews, please contact Michael Gibson at mjgibson@hollandcollege.com.