Adaptive Athletes Strengthen Friendships and Rowing Skills
By Genevieve Carrillo • March 16, 2017
Adaptive athletes from around the world came together to train, learn new skills and form lifelong friendships at Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota, Fla. the site of the upcoming 2017 World Rowing Championships March 4-12.
The camp was hosted in partnership with USRowing, World Rowing Federation (FISA) and the International Paralympic Committee’s Agitos Foundation, and hosted National Paralympic Committees from Chile, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Great Britain and the United States.
“This camp would not have been possible without the support of particular coaches, athletes, organizations, rowing equipment manufacturers, and donors, who are passionate about the development of Para-Rowing,” said Liz Soutter, National Team Para Programs Manager. “I’m excited to see the Para-Rowing community grow, and I hope to see some familiar faces at the World Championships in Sarasota.”
For many of the athletes, the camp served as their first introduction to the sport of rowing. Elite para-rowers such as Blake Haxton, Jacqui Kapinowski, Rob Jones and Helman Roman extended their knowledge and expertise to the incoming athletes, serving as teachers and leaders at the camp. This hands-on teaching allowed new rowers to thrive in boats as they tested out their new skills during the 2000m regatta held on the last day of camp.
Off of the water, rowers and coaches attended seminars about physiology, nutrition, biomechanics for rowing, strength conditioning and injury prevention.
“The camp brought together countries of the America’s to share our common goal of offering the sport of adaptive rowing to our physically challenged population,” said USRowing Director of Para-Rowing, Tom Darling. “I feel the camp was a big success because of all the support USRowing received from our clubs in Florida; Miami Beach Rowing Club, Sarasota Adaptive Rowing Program, South Orlando Rowing Association and Brooks Adaptive Sports who offered their equipment, coaches and mentor athletes to support and educate the athletes.”
“ OTTOBOCK was also a critical part by supporting our speaker lunches, as well as FISA for bringing in classifiers to run our first international 2000m regatta on the world-class nine-lane rowing course at Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota Fla.”
USRowing is very thankful to all organizations who provided support to this camp and the athletes who attended including: USA Triathlon, US Paralympics Cycling, USA Nordic, SANCA at Nathan Benderson Park, Achilles International South Florida, Sarasota Adaptive Rowing Program, Miami Beach Rowing Club, Swift Racing USA, Resolute Racing Shells, WinTech and Ottobock, Concept 2, Trader Joe’s Sarasota, Costco Sarasota, Panera Bread, Chobani, Perfect Bar, Catch and Feather, Rowing Ventures LLC, Courtyard Marriott Lakewood Ranch and Community Rowing, Inc.