Julia Hummel, a Bellbrook High School freshman, had a similar experience at an Olympic Learn to Row Day just over a year ago.
“It was such a fun experience, being on the water,” Hummel said. “It was different and new and everyone was there to help you.”
The 16-year-old athlete – who had previously played soccer, swam and ran cross country – now rows on the Dayton Boat Club varsity team.
“It’s not like any other sport,” she said.
For those who would like to learn more about rowing, National Learn to Row Day is just a few weeks away on June 2. The Dayton Boat Club will host an open house in conjunction with the national event from noon to 1 p.m. There will be opportunities to try out the rowing machines, tour the facilities, meet the coaches and watch rowing demonstrations.
“Rowing is unlike a lot of other sports in that kids don’t encounter it in school, so exposure is the most important part,” said Kate Miller, recruiting coordinator for the Dayton Boat Club. “Coming to the open house is the first step.”
Young rowers interested in learning more can sign up for the Junior Introductory Rowing Camp this summer. And Dayton Boat Club offers opportunities for juniors (12-18) and U23 (18-23), as well as adults. The junior team is open to rowers 12-17 and includes participants from Dayton, Kettering, Oakwood, Huber Heights, Centerville, Springboro, Englewood and many places in between.
Rowing offers opportunities for competition and camaraderie as well as something you won’t find in a gym.
“When the sun goes down and you see the reflection on the water, it’s amazing,” Hummel said.
“I have a stressful job and I look forward to every practice,” she said. “When you’re out on the water you can let go of whatever else is going on and just focus on the here and now. There’s nothing better.”
Bow: The forward section of the boat. The first part of the boat to cross the finish line. The person in the seat closest to the bow, who crosses the finish line first.
Coxswain: Person who steers the shell and is the on-the-water coach for the crew.
Ergometer: Rowers call it an "erg." It's a rowing machine that closely approximates the actual rowing motion.
Oar: Used to drive the boat forward: rowers do not use paddles.
Port: Left side of the boat, while facing forward, in the direction of the movement.
Rigger: The triangular shaped metal device that is bolted onto the side of the boat and holds the oars.
Shell: Can be used interchangeably with boat.
Starboard: Right side of the boat, while facing forward, in the direction of movement
Stern: The rear of the boat; the direction the rowers are facing.
Stroke: The rower who sits closest to the stern. The stroke sets the rhythm for the boat; others behind him must follow his cadence.
HOW TO GO
What: National Learn to Row Day Open House
When: June 2, noon-1 p.m.
Where: Dayton Boat Club, 2805 East River Road, Dayton
What: Learn about the sport of rowing. Meet coaches, learn how to use a rowing machine (erg), see rowing demonstrations, and tour the boathouse and docks at this free event.
More info: Visit www.daytonboatclub.org/ or the Dayton Boat Club on Facebook.