2024 RowOn Coaching Conference Adds Speakers, Streams
Announcement/ Jun 3

2024 RowOn Coaching Conference Adds Speakers, Streams


The schedule for the 2024 RowOn Coaching Conference is starting to come together as Row Ontario and AMP Rowing announced on Monday that both a Coxswain and Diversity & Inclusion stream will be available for Conference participants, in addition to several of the Conference’s speakers.

In December, world-leading coaches Michelle Darvill and Paul Thompson were announced as the two keynote speakers for the Conference. They will be joined by an esteemed group of presenters from throughout the rowing community, who will deliver a selection of lecture, practical and group sessions. The addition of the Coxswain and D&I streams is a response to the Conference feedback received over the last two years which requested more sessions focused on coxswains as well as growing the sport through diversity and inclusion.

The coxswain stream will feature three sessions in the afternoon schedule led by Kristen Kit, Brian Price, and Katie Bruggeling-Lavoie. Kit will look to earn her second Olympic medal in Paris this summer as she coxes the women’s eight for the second Olympics in a row. The St. Catharines native and long-time member of the National team helped the women’s eight to an Olympic gold three years ago in Tokyo. Belleville, ON’s Price is a three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medalist. He also owns an Olympic gold medal as he coxed the men’s eight to a memorable win at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Four years later he returned to the Olympics in London as the men’s eight’s coxswain and helped lead the crew to a silver medal. Bruggeling-Lavoie, a former coxswain with Clemson University, has been making a name for herself in the coaching ranks over the last several years. Last summer she coached the Canadian women’s eight to a bronze medal at the U23 World Rowing Championships and guided the Queen’s Gaels to its first OUA women’s rowing championship since 2012 in October. After an outstanding 2023 she was named OUA Coach of the Year and was recently named as head coach of the Brock Badgers, returning to her hometown.

The Diversity & Inclusion stream will also include three sessions in the afternoon schedule, with a dedicated para rowing session as well as one focused on girls and women in sport. The third session, as well as the speakers for the D&I stream, will be announced at a later date.

Other sessions added to the schedule include Coaching Juniors by USRowing’s Chris Chase, a panel on Recruiting and Retaining Coaches with some of Ontario Universities top coaches, Building Training Plans with Brock’s Mary Rao and a session on the state of rowing in Ontario by Row Ontario’s Performance Director Phil Marshall and ONGPC coach Sandra Farwell. The popular practical rigging sessions run at the 2023 Conference will return this year, with the inclusion of a boat repair session by HUDSON in the slate of practical sessions. Capping off the Saturday schedule will be a rowing technique panel featuring Carol Love, Volker Nolte, Connor Elsdon and Bruggeling-Lavoie.

Darvill, who coached the Canadian women’s eight to a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and is a current National Team Coach in the Netherlands, and Thompson, who has led rowing programs all over the world and is the current Performance Director for Rowing Australia, will each lead a second session after their keynote speeches on Saturday morning. They will also return on Sunday morning for limited participation fireside chats.

The 2024 RowOn Coaching Conference will take place on Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 in Thorold, ON. The full schedule, session descriptions and registration information will be available in the coming months.