The Thompson family took advantage of the 13th annual National Learn to Row Day to try a sport that mom Martha had always been curious about.
“I know it’s nothing like the rower in the gym,” she said.
The family – Martha; son Nate, 16; and daughter Marina, 14 – first got a lesson in technique using ergometers, the indoor rowing machines Thompson was used to. They also toured the Boathouse, which is home for the club.
Down at the dock, crews went through another lesson in technique and practiced rowing on the water. The final lessons were taught while rowing along the Savannah River.
“I think we’re going to enjoy it,” Thompson said.
George Fry Jr., the club’s director of development, estimated that attendance doubled from last year.
The nationwide event was organized by U.S. Rowing, the sport’s governing body.
Members of the Augusta Rowing Club worked closely with novices, showing them how to sit in the boats and how to use their legs to get the motion necessary to power the boat.
“A lot of people think that it’s all upper body, because that’s what they see, but it isn’t. It’s mostly legs. You start with your legs and then you lean back and you finish with your arms,” Fry said. “It’s a good
way to get a full body exercise.”
He said it’s a sport for all ages and that many club members became rowers because their children had gotten involved.
Rowers can start as young as high school and continue well into their 80s, he said.
“It’s a lifelong sport,” he said.
The Augusta Rowing Club offers lessons in six classes designed as an introduction for those who have never rowed. For more information, go to augustarowing