June 2021 Monthly Bulletin

Canada Summer Games.
With the recent announcement from the Alberta Government that many of the province wide restrictions will be relaxed on June 10, 2021, the ARA is beginning to make plans to assist in the development of our Canada Summer Games aged athletes.  Commencing on June 11, 2021 the ARA will once again be offering weekly development session at the Calgary Rowing Club for prospective CSG aged athletes.  Athletes interested in attending these sessions are encouraged to reach out to their prospective coaches.

In addition, the ARA is in the process of organizing some summer events which will hopefully provide some competitive opportunities to athletes of all ages.  Please stay tuned.

Congratulations to CRC athlete Clare Botterill and CRC / ERC athlete Karissa Riley who were both invited to attend the RCA U23 World Rowing Championship Selection Camp.   Karissa and Clare were amongst 11 female athletes selected to attend the camp.  We expect an official announcement from RCA regarding the final selection of the U23 World Championship team in the next few weeks. 

An Olympic Story:
Jeremy Hall’s story is one all Alberta based athletes can gain inspiration from.  Jeremy grew up in St. Paul Alberta, playing all kinds of sports; but as time went by Jeremy wasn’t able to perform at the level he was accustomed to on account of a condition within his knees.  Jeremy has fused knees due to a Hemophilia A condition, a bleeding disorder caused by an absent or inoperative blood clotting protein.  Jeremy however pushed on. 

He attended the University of Alberta and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in mechanical engineering and later went on to work on his Masters in biomedical engineering.  It was at the University of Alberta where Jeremy was introduced to parasport.   He played sledge hockey for the Edmonton Impact, and went on to represent Team Alberta at the 2017 National Championships. The combination of sport and academia pushed Jeremy to new heights.   Shortly after attending the 2017 National Championships, Jeremy began to pursue other sporting ventures and was introduced to rowing. 

Hall eventually linked up with Martin George, the coach of men’s para-rowing in British Columbia. George was impressed with Hall’s level of fitness and instantly knew that Hall had potential within our sport and proceeded to put Jeremy in touch with the Alberta Rowing Association.  Three months later Hall was competing for Alberta at the 2017 National Rowing Championships and by the following year was competing for Canada at the World Championships.

After just 12 short months within the sport, Jeremy lined up in the PR2 Men’s Single at the 2018 World Rowing Championships and went onto surprise everyone by winning a silver medal.  At the 2019 World Championships, he doubled up on his success winning another silver medal in the very same event.  Unfortunately, at the Paralympic Games only the PR2 mixed double is contested.    In order to compete Jeremy was required to switch events and the world medallist started over.    Upon returning home in 2019, Jeremy was teamed up with Jessye Brockway of Mill Bay B.C. and the two commenced their pursuit of representing Canada at the 2020 Paralympic Games. 

In March of 2020 the sporting world was turned upside down with the onset of the COVID pandemic.  Jeremy was required to halt training in Victoria and moved to Edmonton to train in his brother’s basement on borrowed equipment. Jeremy handled the set-back with optimism.  “There’s a silver lining and it’s a blessing in disguise,” he said, “Jessye and I were a little behind in the game and so now, the extra time also allows us to get even stronger for next year.” 

By September of 2020 the duo were back training together with their eye on the 2021 Paralympic Qualification regatta.  Training upwards of three times per day, the duo had their eye on one of two qualifying spots for the 2021 Paralympic games.  In  May of 2021 the two were ready and on their way to Gavirate, Italy for the last chance Paralympic Qualifier.

Jeremy and Jesse had their best race together in Gavirate, but the results weren’t what they hoped for. Jessye Brockway and Jeremy Hall placed third in the PR2 mixed-double final and agonizingly missed out on Tokyo by one spot. Italy and Australia finished 1-2 to earn the Tokyo berths.  Jeremy meanwhile handled the setback with class, noting, “It was not the outcome we hoped for, but we leave with our heads held high, and left everything we had out there,” said Hall

Jeremy, we at the ARA are proud of your achievements and you should know that your story provides inspiration to us all.  You show everyone that no matter the obstacle there is always a way around it!

Upcoming Events
Canada Summer Games Development Camps – Every Friday at the Calgary Rowing Club