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ROWONTARIO held the first of three Club Elite Camps in Welland on April 23, hosted by the South Niagara Rowing Club.  The camp was attended by 21 athletes from 11 different rowing clubs in four ROWONTARIO regions including participants from as far east as Ottawa and as far west as London.  Thirteen coaches participated actively and shared their knowledge to make the day a great learn experience for all that attended. 

The day started at 8:30am with welcome, introductions and an outline of the day’s schedule by Mike Purcer, ROWONTARIO’s Director of High Performance and Coaching Development.  The learning focus for the first session was pacing and the importance of even splits to maximize boat speed over the 2000m distance.  Following dynamic and on-water warm-ups athletes raced in a time trial format with coaches timing at every 500m mark along the course to provide split times.  Results of the time trials including the 500m split times were email out to the athletes and coaches to allow them to review race profiles prior to the afternoon’s head-to-head racing. 

The second session of the day was technical review of four common elements of rowing technique.  Posture, pivot out of the bow, body preparation in the approach to the catch and pushing on the footstops to engage the oar at the catch were discussed as the focus of the row.  The coaches teamed up in four coach boats with small groups of athletes to video using the Hudl Technique app.  Coaches discussed the technique with athletes during and following the technical session and during the lunch break. 

The afternoon started at 1:00pm with a video presentation by Mike Purcer of the athletes rowing in the morning time trials.  Mike used the Dartfish software to analysing each athlete’s rigging and measured the blade slip and drive time in the water.  This session provided an opportunity to discuss effective bladework and effective rigging.    

The last session of the day was head-to-head racing and the time trial results we used to group athletes to provide competitive races.  Again the focus of the race was on even splitting and developing a good race profile in competitive conditions.  Coaches acted as timers at each 500m mark and once more athletes could see their race profiles to further the learning.   

The end of the day Mike thanked the athletes and coaches for their participation and reminded all about the next Camp in Peterborough on May 28, 2016.