National Come Try Rowing Day Unites Communities Across Canada

National Come Try Rowing Day Unites Communities Across Canada

From June 7th to 9th, rowing clubs across Canada participated in National Come Try Rowing Day, offering a unique, free opportunity for Canadians coast to coast to experience the thrill of rowing. This nationwide initiative saw clubs from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland and Labrador open their doors, welcoming individuals of all ages and abilities to try their hand at this exhilarating sport.

An Enthusiastic Turnout

This year’s event was a great success, with hundreds of participants joining across various locations and many clubs having their largest turn out for the event to date. Whether they were complete novices or looking to get back into the sport, the enthusiasm and excitement were palpable. The event not only showcased the beauty and athleticism of rowing but also fostered a sense of community and inclusivity.

Highlights from Across the Country

Two Rivers Rowing Club – Fredericton, New Brunswick

“Fredericton has one of the largest military bases in Canada nearby and there are thousands of Veterans living in our area. Soldier On gave Two Rivers Rowing Club the opportunity to make lasting connections to 9 veterans through the sport and friendship of rowing. Over 50% of the Soldier On participants have committed to our upcoming learn to row summer and fall programs. We hope that Veterans find a rowing home all across the country.” – Krista Steeves, President, Two Rivers Rowing Club

The Gorge Rowing Club – Victoria, British Columbia

“National Come Try Day was a true celebration of unity and community spirit, as over 160 diverse individuals took to the water supported by the incredible dedication of more than 40 passionate volunteers. Together we row towards a future of inclusivity, teamwork and the beauty of coming together through sport.” – Rachel Davis, Club Manager and Head Coach, The Gorge Rowing Club

South Niagara Rowing Club – Welland, Ontario

“This year’s National Come Try Rowing Day was certainly the largest SNRC has ever hosted with more than 65 people in attendance. We had a great mix of both youth and adult participants and people came from all across the Niagara Region (and even some from outside Niagara!) to take part. This event is extremely important for our club as it is a no cost way to introduce rowing to a larger cross-section of the Niagara community. As a result, we have already filled up our June and July Learn to Row programs and our summer camps are now filling up.” – Kevin Fuller, President, South Niagara Rowing Club

Ottawa Rowing Club – Ottawa, Ontario

“National Come Try Rowing Day was an absolute success this weekend at the Ottawa Rowing Club! We were thrilled to welcome participants ranging from 12 to 79, with both absolute beginners and previous Olympians amongst the group, demonstrating interest in all of the programs offered. The event brought our whole club community together, as coaches and rowers alike stepped up to help create a positive experience for all. The plethora of individuals, from all different walks of life, attended the event and are now eager to join (or return to!) the sport. This stands as a testament to the growing diversity of rowing and it’s really uplifting to see.” – Marley Mullan, Everybody Rows Ottawa Program Director

Maple Bay Rowing Club – Victoria, British Columbia

“Maple Bay Rowing Club had 26 participants and was successful in recruiting 4 Learn to Row athletes and one junior athlete for our summer camp program. This event allows volunteers to share their passion for the sport of rowing with others in the community.  Whether participants signed up to carry on or not, all left with smiles on their faces and stories to tell, including the volunteers.” – Kathy Thibodeau, President, Maple Bay Rowing Club

Building a Stronger Rowing Community

National Come Try Rowing Day is more than just an introduction to the sport; it’s about building a stronger, more inclusive rowing community across Canada. The event’s success highlights the growing interest in rowing and the potential for clubs to expand their reach and impact.

In line with this mission, this year, over 39 rowing clubs nationwide will be delivering Community Sport for All Initiative (CSAI) programs. These community-level programs include organized sport activities offered at minimal to no cost to participants. They are specifically designed to be inclusive of equity-deserving groups, while remaining open to all. This initiative aims to break down barriers and ensure that everyone, regardless of background or ability, has the chance to experience the joys of rowing.

Looking Ahead

The success of the 2024 National Come Try Rowing Day exemplifies the vibrant spirit of the rowing community across Canada. From coast to coast, a new wave of potential rowers were introduced to the sport, paving the way for a promising future. Let’s continue to support and grow this incredible community, fostering a love for rowing that spans generations and backgrounds.

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