Friday, August 11, 2006

Summer Club 2006 Part 4


A week rowing at London Regatta Centre began with two people who had rowed once, and five who had never rowed of whom was dreading even stepping foot on a boat.

Day 1...started with an introduction to rowing and the regatta centre. We trecked off site to try out some bell two canoes stuck together. They were a great introduction to the water. They were more stable than other boats and with ten people paddling we managed to do the triathalon route with a little bit of effort.

Day 2...We started on the rowing machines, then went into the water tank and then onto the water.

On the machines we looked at positioning of the body...
and raced on computer...
Craig won the 250m and Josh the pace setting.

In the training tank you got to feel how it was to use proper blades (oars) and what they felt like in water.

It felt different in water...things like lifting the blades out of the water without bashing your knuckles were a challenge.

...but then came the rowing...on open water...which moved and wasn't flat like in the tank...causing rocking of the boat which was unsettling while the uneveness of the water meant burying your blade, falling out of time or tangling blades were frequent events on the first day.

Day 3: Craig's Birthday & he announces the fact to all. Between training in the tank and on the water...there was Birthday Cake, peaches and party games & making a new friends like Bobby.

Day 4: The crew was coming together learning from Sam their coach, the most important lesson...timing. The crew had a practice race and came 3rd. Craig went out with another crew who was short a rower and got some pointers on his performance and came first in a practice race. And I went out then in Craig's place with our crew and found it very hard having had less training than the others...I wasn't a good Craig replacement - they did much better with Craig.

The goal was set to row together...and not come last in the regatta the next day.

Day 5: The Regatta. We got our Red T-shirts and places in the races.

Da Crew

The crew did their first official regatta race for the Reds.

It was nail biting. They got off to an uneven start but with focus on timing they steadily speeded up and kept a constant pace while Greens edging ahead one moment and the next inches behind and for seconds they were neck and neck until the greens lost it and the Reds pipped them to the post to win their first official regatta race and automatically get a place in the final.

I was shouting so much and was so excited that I didn't take a picture of them crossing the finish line...but you can imagine it. To help you I recreated the moment above.

They returned to us to the sound of applause and cheering...they had succeeded in their task...they rowed together and they didn't come last in the Regatta...they were now 4th out of about 20 crews from three different centres.

And although they weren't in the medals they were winners in all respects...

Starting from being afraid to even board the boat, not knowing how to board a boat, what the different parts are, what is needed in terms of safety or how to row individualy or as a group to being out on a boat all week, dealing with cuts and bruises, ups and downs and building a crew that is able to work together as a team to get to the final of a regatta.

I was proud of our crew.
The worked hard.
They never gave up.
(Even with bloody & bruised knuckles.)
And they conquered their fears.

On weeks like this I know why I became a youthworker...because of weeks like this and young people like these I continue.
Thank you Sarah, Keeley, Craig & Josh...and Rejoice & Emma for making my work a pleasure.

(PS if I have left stuff out that should be there...or if you have anything you would like to add let me know)
Summer Club Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

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At 12/8/06 10:42 pm, Anonymous sarah said...

rowing has been great this week.. i'm so happy that i changed my mind and decided to go.

thanks everyone for being so patient with me and for the support. and thanks roz for bringing the opportunity my way.

ps: could add the picture of mine and keeleys hands

At 13/8/06 12:46 pm, Blogger Roz said...

true...i tried to upload wasn't seems to happen with some pics...will try again...

At 13/8/06 9:16 pm, Blogger Keeley said...

u put the pic of our hands on lol

At 13/8/06 9:16 pm, Blogger Keeley said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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thanks for takeing notice of my request

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