February 2016 Monthly Bulletin

The 2017 Canada Summer Games is a multi sport inter-provincial competition that will see the nations best young athletes compete against one another across 30 different sports in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  The ARA recognises the significance of these games and with the opening ceremonies now only 18 months away is taking steps to prepare our U19 athletes (As at December 31, 2015) for these games.   With this in mind the ARA will be hosting the first of several camps in the lead-up to the games on February 19th and 20th in Calgary, Alberta.

The camp itself is by invitation only and will be based on the results from RCA RADAR Submission*.  Athletes looking to garner an invite to the camp should look at the following 2K Standard as a baseline requirement.

  • Open Women –     7:55 – 2,000m                   Lightweight Women 8:05 – 2,000m
  • Open Men    –        6:55 – 2,000m                   Lightweight Men  7:05 – 2,000m
  • Novice Men** –    3:25 – 1,000m***             Novice Women**  3:55 – 1,000m***

Athletes are reminded that 2K erg submissions are due no later than Sunday February 14, 2016 for consideration to the camp itself.  Invites will be distributed to qualifying athletes and their coaches along with an itinerary providing details on the two day event.  Athletes looking to plan ahead for the weekend can expect the camp to start at 7:00pm on Friday February 19th and conclude by 4:00pm on Saturday February 20th.

ARA Coaching Conference
The Alberta Rowing Association in conjunction with the Edmonton and University of Alberta Rowing Clubs is pleased to announce that it will host its seventh annual coaching conference on February 27th in Edmonton Alberta.

The camp itself will be a one-day affair featuring a variety of topics that are useful for athletes, coaches and officials alike in the sport of rowing no matter what their role. This conference is open to all coaches, athletes, club administrators, parents and officials. For those athletes wishing to attend the conference, the ERC/UART will be hosting an erg session for any and all athletes prior to the start of the conference itself.

Additional details about the conference and registration information can be found by following the link at http://albertarowing.ca/events/2016-ara-coaches-conference-2/

ARA Erg Championships
For the last two years the writer has challenged athletes across the province to register for the 2016 ARA Erg Championships.  If enough athletes registered the provincial technical director agreed to pull a 2K erg himself.  With age, the writer is pleased to say that those days have passed but acknowledges that no event is truly complete without issuing a formal challenge of some sort.  This year if 100+ athletes register for the 2016 ARA Erg Championships the writer will agree to put together a “coaches team” for the Team Relay Event and agree to participate in one of the four legs.    In an expectation that he will compete, the Provincial Technical Director has now begun to evaluate the fitness levels of his fellow coaches across the province before finalizing his team.


This year’s event is slated to take place on Saturday March 12, 2016 at the Blackfalds Field House just north of Red Deer.  If you have not already registered but plan to do so simply inform your club coach and they will take care of the rest.  The cost to register is $25, which includes an incredibly fashionable ARA T-shirt.

Those who need one last piece of motivation to get off the couch and start training for the 2016 season are reminded that attendance at the ARA Erg Championships is a requirement in qualifying for ARA Henley Funding.  Furthermore, the ARA will utilize results from the event to extend invites to our 2016 CSG Spring Rowing Camp in Invermere British-Columbia.

Erg Nation
You may not have noticed but Alberta Athletes are putting up some pretty impressive erg times all across this country.

** At the 2016 Monster Erg Championships Alberta athletes waked away with three medals. Colleen Nesbitt of the University and CRC pulled a 6:56 – good for second place overall while former ARA rower Sam Garber pulled a 6:23 to finish in second place in the U23 Lightweight Event. Bryce Kneller of the Edmonton Rowing Club finished in second place in the Novice Men’s event with a time of 6:32.

Calgary athletes Phil Kirker and Kasia G.W were also in attendance and registered times of 6:31 and 7:04 respectively.  Steven Payne and Jess Phillips competed on behalf of the Edmonton Rowing Club and finished with times of 6:10 and 7:23.  Congratulations to all.

** At the 2016 Canadian Indoor Erg Championships in Mississauga, Ontario Karen Lefsrud of the CRC took home gold in the U23 Women’s event with a time of 6:56. Kyle Pollock of the CRC was also in attendance competing in the U23 Men’s event.  He registered a time of 6:27.

** Speaking with John Keogh – Head Coach for the Women’s National Team – he indicated that in a training session he had his team of women pull a 2K Erg Test at rate capped 24. Alberta’s own Nicole Hare pulled a 6:55.  Pretty Impressive.

Erg Standards
Given recent results it is evident that standards need to be updated to reflect Alberta’s new- found prominence on the erg.   Please visit the ARA website later this month and familiarise yourself with the updated standards that will be in effect for this coming year.

Upcoming Events

  • ARA Coaching Conference – Edmonton, Alberta – Feb 27, 2016
  • ARA Erg Championships – Saturday March 12, 2016 – Blackfalds Alberta

In signing off I want to personally thank all the athletes and coaches who nominated me for RCA Coach of the Year.  It was quite an honour to receive such an award and have so many of my fellow coaches in attendance with me.  Thank-you.

Michael Simonson
Provincial Technical Director