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ROWONTARIO held the second of three Club Elite Camps in Peterborough on Saturday, May 28, 2016. The camp was hosted by the Peterborough Rowing Club and included 16 athletes from 7 different rowing clubs in the Central and Eastern regions of ROWONTARIO.  Seven 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 Coach Development.  The first session following the warm-ups was the 2000m time trial and the focus was on even pacing.  The course in Peterborough has a slight dog leg and weeds outside the channel hindered some performances.  Jack Lapum, Peterborough RC Head Coach did a great job of setting buoys for both the 2000m course and the sprint course used for the afternoon head-to-head racing.  Results of the 2000m time trials including the 500m split times were email out to the athletes and coaches during the lunch break to allow them to review their race profiles and analyze their pacing.

The focus for the morning technical rowing session was bladework and Mike used a blade section to demonstrate release, recovery, approach, entry, catch, blade movement during the drive and emphasized maintaining blade depth through the send at the finish.  The coaches (Jack Lapum, Ed Fournier, Carol Love, Stu McKenzie, Kaitlyn Akitt, Isolda Penney and Mike Purcer) teamed up in coach boats with small groups of athletes to focus on bladework development.  Coaches used the Hudl Technique video app to record athlete’s bladework during the session.  Following the session coaches were able to show the video to the athletes to maximize the learning.  A one hour lunch break gave the athletes a well-deserved rest and a chance to review video and time trial results.

Jordan Clarke of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) presented on Rowing Canada Categories of Intensity.  The session outlined the physiology of the training categories and how these categories are used to target individual athlete needs for development.  Jordan used the Rowing Canada Athlete Development information to show athletes how they can estimate the category and identify their level of intensity during training.  Jordan detailed typical training volumes related to different categories and ended the session with a question and answer period.

The last session of the day included four sets of head-to-head races over a short distance with the focus on bladework and speed.  Five groups of athletes raced using a latter format of faster moving up a group and slower athletes moving down to keep the racing interesting.

The end of the day Mike thanked the Peterborough RC for being a great host and thanked the athletes and coaches for their participation.

Next Camp in Ottawa June 18, 2016.

For more information, please email Mike Purcer at

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