February 2015 Monthly Bulletin

WCSG Spring Camp

The 2015 Western Canada Summer Games (WCSG) is a multi sport event featuring athletes from the four western provinces and three territories. The Games provide development opportunities and serve to broaden the exposure of talented amateur athletes.   The ARA recognises the significance of these games and with the opening ceremonies now only 6 months away we continue to take steps to prepare our U19 athletes (As at December 31, 2015) for these games.   With this in mind the ARA is looking to host a spring camp at the end of April in Invermere, British-Columbia.

While the details of the camp won’t be finalized until the end of February 2015, athletes wishing to participate in the camp must better the ARA 2K Erg Qualifying Standard for the WCSG at the 2015 ARA Erg Championships (To be held on March 14, 2015). As was communicated in the November 10, 2014 ARA Report (Bulletin #10) the erg qualifying standards for the 2015 WCSG Games are as follows:

Men                          7:05
Women                    8:05

It is the opinion of the ARA that the erg standards required to attend this camp are reflective of the erg standards needed to participate at the 2015 WCSG. Please note that athletes who do not meet the erg standard at the 2015 ARA Erg Championships will not be eligible for the camp, but may still qualify for the 2015 WCSG. Athletes will have until May 24, 2015 to better the standard to be deemed eligible for the Games themselves.

ERG Assistance
The Alberta Rowing Association recognizes the concept of a multisport-games in one’s home province is an exciting opportunity for our U19 athletes. The ARA wants to provide athletes with every opportunity possible to represent Alberta in Fort McMurray, Alberta.  It is for this reason that we have brought on two coaches, Alex Marchuk in Calgary, Alberta and Mallory Turner in Edmonton, Alberta who will provide additional coaching opportunities for our U19 athletes. Alex and Mallory will work closely with your program coaches in the months ahead and provide one weekly WCSG dedicated practice over the course of the next four months. Please note that the practices are intended to supplement (not replace) the efforts of what your program coaches are doing in Calgary and Edmonton.

For those U19 athletes who reside outside of these 2 urban centres we have not forgotten about you. We intend to work closely with your coaches and provide you with the opportunities you require to be a member of Team Alberta.

ARA Coaching Conference
Did anyone notice something missing from the rowing calendar this February? On account of some scheduling conflicts, for the first time in 5 years the ARA decided to forgo the ARA Coaching conference this February. Fortunately, for prospective and current coaches alike, the ARA is looking to host an ARA Coaching Conference in Red Deer, Alberta in April 2015. At this time we have not determined a date, but we are hopeful that a formal announcement will be made in the coming weeks providing details on the 6th annual ARA Coaching Conference.

For those unfamiliar with the format of the ARA Coaching conference, it is an opportunity to socialize with fellow coaches and provides an educational opportunity for young and old alike. The conference open to all– athletes, coaches, officials and even parents who wish to not only gain insight into our sport but perhaps even see themselves sitting in the coach boat in the future.

At the 34th annual RCA Awards Banquet held in Burnaby, British-Columbia Carolyn Taylor Smith of the Edmonton Rowing Club was recognized with the Presidents Award. The President’s Award, conferred at the discretion of the President of Rowing Canada Aviron (currently Michael Walker), recognizes significant contributions to the sport of rowing.

Carolyn did not start rowing till later in life, but fell in love with it once she did. A past president of the Edmonton Rowing Club, an executive member with the Alberta Rowing Association, Vice-President of Rowing Canada Aviron and member of the international rowing commission for the International Federation of Rowing, Carolyn’s contributions to the sport are endless but amongst those that she is fondest of is the development of para rowing here in Canada. Congratulations Carolyn. For a great article on Carolyn’s achievements in the sport please see http://www.stalbertgazette.com/article/20150207/SAG1101/302079979/-1/SAG/major-award-for-rower

On a slightly lesser note the ARA congratulates ARA Executive Member and long time ERC Coach and athlete Neala Macdonald for being selected to Rowing Canada’s Coach Education Development Committee. Neala was selected amongst a number of coaches to this committee and is certainly worthy of the role.

In Training
In 2014 the ARA Provincial Technical Director challenged rowers from across the province to register for the ARA Erg Championships. If athletes rose to the challenge and 115+ athletes registered for the event it was agreed that he would compete in the championships. With the calendar now turned to 2015, a similar challenge has been put out to the masses. Should 125+ athletes register for the ARA Erg Championships the Provincial Technical Director agrees to compete at the event for the second time in 2 years.*

In an expectation that he will compete, the Provincial Technical Director is now in training for the big event and hopes are that you are too. This year’s event is slated to take place on Saturday March 14, 2015 at the Abbey Field House in Blackfalds, Alberta just north of Red Deer. The cost to register is $25 and those who register before February 8, 2015 will obtain a free t-shirt. To register simply inform your club coach and they will take care of the rest.

Those who need one last piece of motivation to get off the couch and start training for the 2015 season, are reminded that attendance at the ARA Erg Championships is a requirement in qualifying for ARA Henley Funding.

* Should a conflict arise and the Provincial Technical Director be unable to attend the Erg Championships a 2K test will be posted on you-tube. At this time there are no conflicts.

Winter Triathlon
The ERC is hosting a winter style triathlon on Saturday March 7, 2015 for those interested. The event consists of a 6km ski, followed by a 6km run and concluding with a 6km erg. Athletes are permitted to compete as a team or individually. Athletes interested in the event should contact Ali Williams no later than Monday March 2, 2015 at ali.williams.j@gmail.com

Rowing Tidbits
Not sure if you saw the results from the 2015 Canadian Indoor Erg Championships. If you did two world records were set by Para Rowers but in this writers opinion the result of the weekend goes to 1992 Olympic Gold Medallist Darrin Barber who pulled an absolutely amazing 5:47. For those in their late 40’s see if you can top that.

Upcoming Events

  • ERC Winter Triathlon – Saturday March 7, 2014 – Edmonton, Alberta
  • ARA Erg Championships – Saturday March 14, 2015 – Blackfalds Alberta