This fall, Norwalk River Rowing will be looking to recruit Wilton student-athletes willing to put in hard work to earn top places against the competition on local and national levels.
The 2022-23 season was a strong one for the club: a strong sweep of gold and silver medals at Northeast Regionals during which 25 young athletes qualified for the 2023 USRowing National Championships this past summer. Although the club draws members from several surrounding towns, Wilton students and families make up nearly half of the Norwalk River-based non-profit community club—including approximately half of the winning contingent at Regionals and two Silver Medalists at the National level this past season.
Anyone can learn how to row and there are strong benefits to choosing rowing as a junior varsity and varsity sport.
Crew is the ultimate team sport. Most sports have a teamwork component, but in rowing there is nothing else. Rowing demands the complete focus and effort of every crew member. The crew works together to make the boat reach its full potential to fly over the water. Rowing requires endurance, strength and skill. The bonds that athletes forge on a rowing team through a shared trial are some of the strongest and longest lasting. Relying on one another to consistently take strokes through the water to power the boat leads to lifelong friendships.
Rowing is one of the best full-body workouts for strength, coordination, and flexibility while being as safe and low-impact as possible. A workout that activates nearly twice the muscle groups that other activities do; a single stroke works quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, arms, and back muscles. The amount of energy used in one 2,000-meter sprint race is comparable to the amount used to play two full basketball games. Students looking for a sport that will build muscle, lung capacity, strength and resilience should look no further than joining a crew team. And with a strong body comes a strong mind. Rowing is an excellent catharsis for the stress of school work and teen life.
3. Life skills
Rowing builds mental strength and develops critical life skills like responsibility and time management as well as leadership abilities and multitasking. It takes a high level of responsibility to be a strong member of the team that won’t let boatmates down, and to prioritize tasks, such as learning when to work and when to socialize.
As new rowers join the team, more experienced members take charge to help new members learn to row and what to do to help the team, leading to the development of strong leadership skills. At races, there are constant tasks to do in addition to actual races that contribute to team success, such as carrying oars for boats going on the water, unloading and loading the boat trailer, and rigging and de-rigging the boats. Rowers also have strong communication skills, punctuality, the physical ability to stay on their feet and work for long periods of time, and the ability to work well and reliably with others.
Crew is seen as one of the most prestigious sports in the world, given that it’s one of the oldest sports, practiced by a wide variety of participants young and old, and is associated with academia. Colleges like to admit athletes from sports such as rowing because the sport teaches many of the important characteristics that are necessary for success at college. When navigating the college recruitment process, coaches will often give early reads of student-athletes and share advice on how to maximize chances of acceptance. If a rower is successful and fortunate enough to be recruited this helps to increase their chances of acceptance. In this past year, NRRA students have headed off to prestigious rowing programs at Georgetown, Lehigh and the University of Washington among others.
Interested to learn more or give rowing a try?
Norwalk River Rowing is holding its annual Learn to Row Open House for 7th-12th graders this Saturday, Aug. 26 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Stop by, meet coaches and community members, and get on the water to see what it’s all about. Learn more at the Norwalk River Rowing website.