The waters on Seton Lake were a bit rough on the morning of Saturday, July 7, but that didn’t deter the group of would-be rowers who came out to try rowing with the Lillooet Rowing Club.
The club, spearheaded by rowing coach Debra Neufeld, held its second free to try rowing event from 8:30 - 11 a.m. The event was attended by 15 participants and was supported by nine volunteers, with donations of fuel and snacks provided by TIM-BR Mart and Buy-Low Foods.
Participants began by filling out the required waivers, and were then given instruction and practice time on a rowing machine. Next, groups of two headed out into the club’s “Bill Murray” boat and were coached by Neufeld and Eric Bertram.
The groups rowed out past the buoy line at Second Beach, headed across the water a short distance and then returned to shore. Whitecaps were quite prevalent on the water, and while most rowers returned much wetter than when they left, nearly all had smiles on their faces.
The sport of rowing is not as difficult as one might think, as this writer found out after making an attempt to row at the event. The challenge is mostly in the arm and leg coordination, but the supportive environment and great instruction made the experience really enjoyable.
Currently, the club has seven adult and one youth member. The goal is to grow membership to 15 adults and 24 youth, which would provide for a full rowing roster to compete at regattas, Neufeld told The News.
The club has regular practice on Saturday/Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and Tuesday/Thursday from 6 - 8 a.m.
Neufeld has also recruited a summer student to help with the club. Marcus Wiltsie has been a competitive rower for more than five years and hails from Victoria, where he rowed for the University of Victoria and the city’s rowing club. With a great support team of coaches, Neufeld is now looking for volunteers to help with dock building and repair at Seton Lake to make access easier for club members.
Future goals for the club are to enter in competitions. Neufeld told The News, “Not everyone who has joined so far is a competitive athlete, but some of the rowers are interested in racing.” She continued, “There are many races in the Lower Mainland offered throughout the fall, with varying degrees of skill required.”
More information for the Lillooet Rowing Club can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/LillooetRowingClub.