By ELLA GREEN
During a typical fall season, the UMW rowing team would be preparing to go to Richmond and the Occoquan to compete. This year, however, it is possible they may never touch the water
The UMW rowing team was moved from Varsity Club to Campus Recreation club this past summer, following the retirement of coach Richard Adams, who has been with the team since the fall of 2015. While Adams is missed, so are this season’s practices.
“We cannot go on the water until we get a coach, and currently we are trying to get one of our rower’s old coaches to come out and practice with us on the water,” said rowing board president and junior Delaney Resweber.
However, this may only be a temporary solution. “His paperwork is still going through…[plus] he is only going to be here for this semester,” said Resweber. “We are trying to reach out to Master’s programs on the Occoquan to find a coach and we are in the process of creating an ad.”
Resweber is not opposed to the transition. “While we lost some things, like access to an athletic trainer and the strength and conditioning room, I do not think the move was bad,” said Reweber. “Under Campus Rec we have a bit more flexibility with fundraising, driving the vans.”
The team continues to outreach and accept new members, eager to begin a new season.
“We have had a hard time in the past encouraging people to join since not a lot of people want to get up super early and rowing is such a niche sport that not a lot of people know what to expect,” Resweber explained.
The recent influx of new members this year shows promise. “This year we tried to advertise a bit more than in years past to gain more members and we hope that in the spring we will have some more recruits,” said Resweber. “We actually had a good pool of women join the team this year which is great.”
Compared to what the veteran team members have come to expect, this fall season is a bit unorthodox. “We will not be able to row and get out on the water as early as we had in the past but we are going to do our best to have a decent fall training season so that we can have a normal spring season,” said Resweber.
In response, the focus on what the team hopes to accomplish has also shifted.
“To me, a productive year is me getting back into shape after not being able to do crew last year,” said team member David Miller. “I feel that the gains we make during our gym practices are only going to make us a better team when it is time to do races both this semester and next.”
Miller continued, “While we are still not able to get onto the water, the conditioning we do on land will allow us to focus on the technical aspect of crew when we are able to get onto the water.”
In terms of the team’s physical strength and technique, Resweber has set her goals as well. “Our main goal is to keep up our fitness and refine our technique while we are in the erg room, where the rowing machines are, so when we get out on the water there is not as huge of a learning curve. I think finding a coach and being able to have a positive impact on our novices is my main goal this year.”
At least for the first semester, the team may not be able to compete in any regattas if they are without a coach. So far, the rowers have yet to be deterred from their commitment to the team, and to each other, in the face of adversity.