April Bulletin

NextGen Partnership

The NextGen program is a development pathway that provides athletes with training opportunities in their province while engaging with RCA Development programs.  In 2023 the ARA entered into a partnership with RCA with each entity agreeing to commit resources towards the development of Alberta based athletes. 

Alberta has a long standing history in developing athletes for Canada’s national teams with a record eight Alberta athletes representing Canada in both 2022 and 2023.  Recognizing Alberta’s sizeable contribution in developing home grown athletes for national programs,  the ARA is pleased that it can work directly with RCA in 2024 and beyond in developing future national team athletes. 

With this in mind, for this upcoming year Alex Marchuk will continue to serve as  NextGen Performance Team lead overseeing the program here in Alberta and provide direct feedback to Rowing Canada coaches and administrators on the ongoing development of our athletes,  With Alex continuing to oversee our NextGen Performance program we believe Alberta Rowing is well served to enhance the opportunities of our athletes here in the Wild Rose Province. 


After a long six months the Invermere camp has become a highly anticipated weekend on the rowing calendar providing many Alberta athletes the opportunity to get back into a boat. While the camp is always touch and go given that it is subject to the weather, we can confirm that the that ice has cleared on Lake Windermere and with that the ARA is pleased to announce the Invermere camp intended for April 19-21 2024 will proceed as planned. 

Do note that while the ARA provides some organizational assistance with this pre-season camp, the responsibility for organizing the camp rests with your local club.  Athletes who are interested in attending are asked to speak with their local clubs about logistics and so forth. 

Rowing Stories:

On April 8, 2018 a bus carrying 29 members of a local hockey team was travelling northbound on highway 35 near Armley, Saskatchewan for an upcoming playoff hockey game.  Players and coaches alike were going about their daily affairs, when a semi truck travelling west bound along Highway 335 collided with the bus around 5:00pm local time. 

The bus sustained massive damage particularly at the front.  The driver and thirteen players were killed immediately and two others died later in hospital. Four additional athletes sustained spinal cord injuries leaving the players paralyzed from the waist down.  The accident was the deadliest road accident in Canada since the 1997 Les Eboulments bus accident in Quebec which killed 44 people.  Dignitaries from across the world including the President of the United States, the Pope, the Prime Minister of Canada and NHL superstars joined the general public in expressing their condolences. 

Some six years later the lives of the thirteen survivors has changed dramatically with some continuing their pursuit of NHL stardom while others moved on to other ventures in their lives. For Jacob Wassermann – the goalie of the Humbold Broncos Team – the accident left him paralyzed and while sledge hockey was a suitable alternative, the sport of hockey felt as though it had passed him.  With adversity comes opportunity and in 2022 Jacob went down to the Saskatoon Rowing Club and tried his hand at rowing.  The camaraderie of working with fellow athletes and the thrill of competing instilled a new dream.  A dream of one day competing at the Olympic Games in the sport of rowing. 

In 2023 Jacob won gold in the PR1 event at the 2023 National Rowing Championships and a few months later was training with the Canadian National Rowing Team in Duncan, British Columbia.  In March of 2024 Jacob realized a dream at the Continental Olympic Rowing Regatta that was likely foreign to him some 6 years ago; rowing at an Olympic Games.  Jacob now has set his sights on a new dream of winning an Olympic medal in the sport of rowing at the 2024 Games in Paris. 

Brown Cup

The Brown Cup is an annual race that sees men’s and women’s crews from the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria compete against one another over a nearly 4km course.  While the race involves crews from outside of Alberta both schools are heavily reliant upon athletes from Alberta to make up their varsity teams  This year seven Alberta athletes (Alex Ewashko- UBC Varsity Men – Gaby Worobec – UBC Varsity Women, Kaliya Javra, Gabrielle Kieser & Mikaela Holthuis– UVIC Varsity Women – Andrew Hubbard & Sam Ree – UVIC Varsity Men) competed in the varsity races.  UBC ended up winning both races.  Race coverage can be found via the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QkP4K18bVU

Upcoming Events:
ARA Training Camp– Invermere, British Columbia –April 19-21, 2024