Shumway Lake Rowing Test Event

The Kamloops Rowing Club recently hosted a successful test event on Shumway Lake that attracted fifty two athletes from around the province. Forty one volunteers and seven umpires were also involved with bringing together a total of seventeen – 2 km long races. Teams were made up of men and women from Simon Fraser University, Nanaimo Rowing Club, Kelowna Rowing Club, South Cariboo Rowing Club, University of the Fraser Valley Rowing Crew, Nelson Rowing Club and the Kamloops Rowing Club.

The Shumway Lake facilities were originally built in 1993 for use in the Canada Summer Games of that year. Seventeen years later the facilities have now received a much needed facelift for the upcoming 2011 Western Canada Summer Games. The upgrades were made possible, due in part to a Federal Recreation Infrastructure Canada (RiNC) grant and in kind contributions from Kamloops Rowing Club members, Kamloops Canoe/Kayak Club members, TRU carpentry students and Rebel Fibreglass. Upgrades included 2 new 72 foot docks, 6 start platforms, a new 2km – 6 lane stainless steel Albano race course, a new start tower and a refurbished finish tower.

Several of the young athletes in attendance had recently competed at the BC Games held in the township of Langley, including local rower, Steven Giddens. Steven is 15 years old and only started rowing last year, yet he along with his crew members from Kelowna Rowing club and the Vernon Rowing Club brought home a gold medal for the technical event from the BC Games.

The test event attracted some high profile guests including Olympic rower Jon Beare who competed in the Olympics in Sydney, Athens and Beijing where he brought home a bronze medal in men’s lightweight fours. Jon believes that rowing gained popularity in Canada after the 1992 Olympics, where Canada won several gold medals. He is currently a rep for Hudson Boats which are made in Canada and raced at elite levels, such as the Olympics.

Other guests included Don Arnold, Canadian Olympian who was a member of the 1st Canadian Rowing Crew to achieve a gold medal in the Sydney Olympics in 1956. Don offered his knowledge and expertise to the Kamloops Rowing Club on the new race course design. David L Davies, Rowing Sport chair of the 1993 Canada Summer Games and former Kamloops Rowing Club executive member. Graham Foreman, former 1st President and Coach of the Kamloops Rowing Club and currently a Rowing BC/Rowing Canada Aviron Umpire and former Kamloops Rowing Club executive member.

Janine Chan, organizer of the test event, 2011 WCSG Rowing Sport Chair and rowing member of the Kamloops Rowing Club, stated that the event was an excellent learning opportunity for the club and volunteers who will be organizing rowing event for the 2011 Games. During the Kamloops 2011 Western Canada Summer Games, rowing will take place in the second week of competition from August 12 to 14. Canoe/kayak competitions will take place the preceding week of August 7 to 9.

One of the new docks installed at Shumway Lake

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