March 2013 Information Bulletin #3

CSG Update
On the basis of their erg scores, thirteen prospective Canada Summer Games (CSG) athletes were invited to a winter camp this past month in Tempe, Arizona. While it was difficult to leave the snow behind, amongst the backdrop of the Arizona State University Campus and the famed Tempe Butte “A”Mountain, athletes were welcomed to Tempe Town Lake amongst crystal blue skies and near perfect water conditions. The course, an engineering marvel designed to protect the town from flooding, allowed athletes in their downtime to run along its over 6km of paved pathways and coaches to make the 5 minute walk to Starbucks.

Motorised pontoon boats that reminded the writer of the chase boats at the 2012 Olympic Games, provided the coaches with all the comforts of home. The coaches then armed with a 30 horse power barge and a Grande Coffee had all they needed to make workouts longer and more frequent than what they and the athletes had been accustomed to. No one seemed to care. The camp was a great success.

Every athlete in attendance was focused and came to each and every practice with an upbeat and positive attitude and certainly showed the ARA that there is much to be excited about this coming summer. However, there is considerable work left to be done.

The focus for every CSG Aged Athlete should now be on preparing one’s self for the upcoming selection camp on June 1-2 in Calgary, Alberta. As has been communicated in the past, attendance at the 2013 Winter Camp should in no way implies that an athlete has been selected to the 2013 CSG Team. Final selection to the 2013 CSG Team will be on the basis of erg time and on-water speed. Attendance at the June 1-2 selection camp will be by invite only and will be granted to those athletes who have achieved the aforementioned erg standards. Final selection to the team will be based on water performance in a 1x or 2-.

Heavyweight Men 6:35

Lightweight Men 6:50

Heavyweight Women 7:35

Lightweight Women 7:50

While the standards are aggressive the ARA notes that 17 athletes to date have hit the aforementioned times with another 15 athletes within 15 seconds of these times. The ARA commends all athletes who have achieved / progressing towards these times and are encouraged with all of the great scores that are being recorded all across the province.

ARA Erg Championships
The ARA Erg Championships is fast approaching with this years version now less than 7 days away. For all athletes, the ARA Erg Championships represents a tremendous opportunity to get to know fellow athletes across the province in a competitive racing environment. For those who are on the fence we encourage you to attend even if your fitness is not in erg race shape. The ARA Erg Championships is the last competitive racing opportunity that you will have here in Alberta until late May 2013.

As a reminder to all athletes attendance at the ARA Erg Championships is a requirement in qualifying for ARA Henley Funding.

Erg Standards
The Bronze, Silver and Gold erg standards that everyone has been accustomed have been changed and are now posted on the ARA’s Web Page. If you have not already familiarised yourself with the standards we encourage you to do so by following the link Changes from the 2012 version were largely restricted to strengthening the Bronze standard.

ARA Awards
On Sunday March 10, 2013, upon the conclusion of the ARA Erg Championships, the ARA will recognise the outstanding achievements made by ARA athletes in the 2012 calendar year. Unlike last year where the ARA recognised the best performing athletes in each of the various age classifications (Junior A, Junior B so forth), in 2013 the ARA will be recognising athletes whose finished in the top 1/3 of their field at a provincial level event.

The winners for each of the various categories will be announced at the 2012 ARA Erg Championships on March 10, 2013.

Fundraising Opportunity
Is your club looking for extra cash? Is your club in need of additional equipment? Maybe the ARA can help. As has been disclosed, for every age eligible CSG athlete (born in 1993 or later) with no previous on-water rowing experience who hits a 2K erg Score of 6:45 Men and 7:45 Women at the ARA Erg Champs the ARA will give that club $500 to a maximum of $10,000 for the entire program.

We encourage all clubs across the province to be on the lookout for athletes who have the potential to hit the indicated standards. It could be of benefit to your club.

Coaching Education
Coaches interested in obtaining their coaching certification are encouraged to register for “RCA Coach Weekend 1” course in Edmonton, Alberta on March 22nd, 2013. Chris Davidson is the only Albertan certified to teach this course and has offered to teach the course on the weekend of March 22. If you are interested in attending this weekend course, please let email Steve Fitzjohn at ASAP.

A brief explanation of where this course fits in the NCCP coaching structure:

There are 3 levels of coaching in the NCCP rowing competitive stream. These levels are RCA Coach, Performance Coach and High Performance Coach. RCA Coach candidates will likely work with competitive novices, juniors and masters. This proposed “Weekend 1” course is at the “RCA Coach” level. Participants who wish to become “trained as an RCA Coach” within the NCCP structure would subsequently:

* do some active coaching
* do an online Ethical Decision Test
* develop a portfolio based on active coaching
* then do Weekend 2, which hopefully we will host in the fall.

A brief bio of the instructor:
Coach Chris Davidson has been developing CRC Junior athletes for close to a decade. Chris is a certified level III coach with a Masters degree in exercise physiology and the provincial course conductor for rowing coaching certification courses. He is also a high school teacher with the Calgary Board of Education. A former Canadian National Team member, Chris represented Canada for 11 years at World Championships and the Sydney Olympics Games. Chris also did an excellent video analysis session at the January Coaching Conference in Edmonton

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