Ontario Academy of Rowing
The Ontario Academy of Rowing is located at the Ontario Performance Centre and is Ontario’s first and only rowing academy.
About the Ontario Academy of Rowing
Located in Welland, Ontario and modelled after existing sports academies for hockey, soccer and basketball, the Ontario Academy of Rowing features programming developed by a panel of leading advisors targeted at developing the next generation of high performance Ontario rowers. The Academy nurtures Ontario’s brightest young athletes’ abilities and puts them on a path to achieve their high performance rowing goals. Athletes training at the Academy receive all the tools they need to be successful both on and off the water.
To establish a sustainable world class, inclusive, and safe sport compliant Daily Training Environment (DTE) in Ontario for Ontario rowers and coaches successfully progressing on Rowing Canada Aviron’s development pathway.
Who can train at the Academy?
The Academy is targeted for athletes who are seeking the opportunity to train in an ideal daily training environment in order give them the best opportunity to develop into elite senior athletes capable of success at the international level. Development athletes aged 15-19 years including Ontario provincial team, NextGen and other identified development athletes are the target group for the Academy, but exceptions to those demographics can be made based on where athletes are in their development and their experience in rowing. Transfer athletes from other sports with the desired physiology for rowing will also be considered for the Academy on a case-by-case basis. Athletes have the option to train at the centre on either a centralized or regional basis.
Is the Ontario Academy of Rowing for you?
If you are a dedicated athlete with aspirations to row at the national level the Ontario Academy of Rowing could be for you. We are looking for athletes who:
- Aspire to advance to the National Team program
- Are dedicated to train 18-24 hours per week
- Are looking for a holistic and comprehensive training program (including Sport Science/Sports Med)
- Want to train in a high performance environment and train with other high performance athletes
- Want to train in an athlete centred environment, with the outcome focused on development and long-term performance
All centralized athletes who train at the Academy have access to full-time professional coaching among a myriad of other benefits, including:
- Low athlete-to-coach ratios. This will ensure a conducive learning environment and a timely progression on the development curve for athletes.
- A year-long training program including strength and conditioning, 24/7 monitoring through Kinduct, insurance through CAIP, equipment and equipment insurance and video and analysis.
- Integrated training with the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario (CSIO) and their team of physiologists, nutritionists, bio mechanists, sport psychologists and strength and conditioning coaches.
- Exclusive training in HUDSON singles, an important initial step in the development stages for athletes with goals of future high performance success.
- Competitive opportunities at the National Rowing Championships and Row Ontario Small Boat Trials, as well as RCA NextGen opportunities and provincial team programs based on individual performance and progression.
- Mentorship opportunities for younger athletes working with more established and experienced athletes.
- Access to train at one of the premiere rowing venues in the country on pristine waterways and excellent dry-land training facilities.
Para-rowing at the Ontario Academy of Rowing
The Ontario Academy of Rowing is an ideal place for dedicated para athletes who have aspirations to race for Canada at the World Championships and Paralympic Games. Our head coach Dr. Amanda Schweinbenz has a long history of working with para athletes in the sport of rowing and introducing novice para athletes to the sport. One of the notable athletes she taught the sport to was 2015 World Championships bronze medallist and 2016 Paralympic bronze medallist Curtis Halladay. Schweinbenz was also the coach of the 2015 Canadian bronze medal PR3 mixed four with coxswain at the FISA World Championships.
In para-rowing there are three classification categories – PR1, PR2 and PR3. The events that are available to athletes in each category include:
PR1: Men’s single sculls, women’s single sculls
PR2: Mixed double sculls, men’s single sculls, women’s single sculls
PR3: Mixed coxed four, mixed double sculls, men’s pair, women’s pair
For more information on classifications in para-rowing, please visit the FISA website.
Para-rowing was welcomed into the Paralympic programme for the 2008 Games in Beijing, China. Canada won its first Paralympic medal at the 2016 Games in Rio in the PR3 Mixed 4+ with coxswain. Most recently, Canadian para athletes have won the world championships in the PR3 Men’s Pair and silver in the PR2 Men’s Single Sculls.
The Ontario Academy of Rowing Team
Dr. Amanda Schweinbenz is the head coach of the Ontario Academy of Rowing. Coach Schweinbenz has an impressive resume coaching rowing at many different levels of the sport, including the national, provincial, university and club levels. She is the founder of the Laurentian Voyageurs varsity rowing team was also the head coach of Team Ontario in the 2017 Canada Summer Games.
With almost 50 years of experience as an athlete, administrator and coach, Chris Marshall brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Row Ontario. Chris is Row Ontario’s Manager, High Performance and oversees the operations of the Ontario Academy of Rowing. Among his other responsibilities are Athlete Development, Provincial Development Teams (including Canada Summer Games team), High Performance Partnership Management, and the Quest for Gold—Ontario Athlete Assistance Program.
Greta Chase has a wealth of experience in rowing as she was a provincially carded rower from 2018-19 and a member of the Queen’s Gaels varsity rowing team from 2015-19 and reached the podium at the OUA Championships in each of her five years at Queen’s. Her responsibilities at Row Ontario include accounts payable and receivables, member club tracking and invoicing, high performance program travel, logistics, entries & team uniforms, regatta auditing support, and administrative support.
The National Development Centre – Ontario, was a previous Ontario training centre based in Welland that helped develop the careers of many National Team athletes and elite-level rowers. Check out the testimonials below to see what some former NDCO athletes have to say about how their careers were were impacted by living and training in an environment like the Ontario Academy of Rowing.
Carling Zeeman – 2016 Olympian, 2015 Pan Am Games Gold Medalist
Jill Moffatt – Current National Team Athlete, 2019 World Rowing Cup Gold Medalist
Mark Henry – Former National Team Athlete
Interested in Becoming a Member of the Ontario Academy of Rowing?Apply Now!
If you have any questions about the Ontario Academy of Rowing, please contact Chris Marshall, Manager, High Performance at Row Ontario.