New recreation program offers an introduction to rowing
By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Jul. 7, 2011
One of the South Windsor Recreation Department’s newest programs offers high school students an introduction to rowing. “I thought it sounded really fun to do something different from what is offered at school,” said Tori Von Kaenel about joining the first of the three rowing sessions.
The program is being coached by South Windsor resident Joshua Kraus, who started rowing his freshman year at Cornell University. Since then, Kraus has coached at several locations, including in Glastonbury. “I think there’s interest out there,” said Kraus about initiating the rowing program. “South Windsor is on the water. We have river access. I’d love to get South Windsor kids involved in this sport.”
Some 10 high school students are participating in the first of three sessions being offered this summer. The next session will start Aug. 1, and the third session, which requires participation in either of the first sessions, will start Aug. 30. The program runs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Hartford Boathouse, part of Riverfront Recapture.
Several of the participants said they joined because they already knew they liked kayaking and canoe. Chris Morelli said he also liked the competitive aspect of a crew team.
After only two days of learning the body mechanics and rowing from a training barge, the participants learned how to maneuver the 250-pound, eight-person crew shell into the river. It showed a lot of teamwork and coordination. The students also clearly enjoyed themselves.
“I definitely like it,” said Alexandra Libro. “It’s nice to be out in the water.” After her first time in the crew shell, Libro said, “It felt secure, even though it was a little wobbly.” She had already learned that as long as the oars are in the water, the boat is secure.
Kevin Smith noted that he was interested in taking the summer program so that he might be able to row in college. After his first time rowing on July 7, Smith said, “It was great. It’s a lot faster than the [training] barge we were on.”
To sign up for the remaining Introduction to Rowing session or for information on the other summer programs, contact the South Windsor Recreation Department at 860-648-6355 or visit the website recreation.southwindsor.org. The cost is $160 for the second session and $140 for the third session.