Manitoba Rowing Association Names 2015 Western Canada Summer Games Team


Western Canada Summer Games will take place August 7 – 16, 2015 in Wood Buffalo, Alberta this year. These Games are a great opportunity for young athletes to experience and participate in a high-level competition this summer. Athletes will be rowing out of the Snye Park in Wood Buffalo. Competition days begin August 12 with two days of active on the water practice, followed by competition August 14 – 26, 2015. This year’s Team Toba members are:

Jordan Hamilton

Joshua Isle

Emma Gray

Anne-Marie Goytan


Antony Patterson – Head Coach

Ashleigh Milani – Assistant Coach

For more information about the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, visit the website at

The Manitoba Rowing Association wishes all of the Manitoba athletes competing in Wood Buffalo the best of luck!

Manitobans Show Exceptional Results at 2015 U-23 Selections


The Manitoba Rowing Association would like congratulate Riley MacCharles and Casie Gauthier on an exceptional showing at the 2015 Under 23 Selections that took place in Burnaby last week.

The Selections at Burnaby for U23 National team took place May 8 – 20, 2015 in Burnaby, B.C. Both Riley and Casie improved significantly in their trials in comparison to last year’s times. In fact, in November of 2014 Casie finished 23rd, and by May of this year finished 5th. Casie was only two seconds away from a third place finish that would have put her on the U23 National team.

Riley managed to pull exceptionally strong as well. In November of 2014 Riley finished 17th overall, and at this month’s trials finished 9th in a very strong field. All selectors commented on the vast improvement of both Casie and Riley, and commended them on their positive attitudes and greatly improved rowing technique.

The Manitoba Rowing Association is very proud of these exceptional athletes, their hard work and dedication to the sport. An extended congratulations goes out to Head Coach, Antony Patterson as well for his hard work, dedication and results for his squad.

Kenora Rowing Club to Join the MRA


It is with great excitement that the Manitoba Rowing Association welcomes our newest club member, the Kenora Rowing Club. On May 20, 2015 it was officially announced that the Kenora Rowing Club will join the Manitoba Rowing Association as our fourth club in the province. With our close proximity to Kenora combined with Kenora being the physical site for the 2017 Canada Games Rowing Regatta, the MRA is excited to work with and service this new club.

The Kenora Rowing Club has a long-standing history in Ontario, and has been friends with Manitoba clubs since the beginning. For a full history on KRC, please click here.

The Kenora Rowing Club offers several categories of membership including:

  1. Learn to Row – Adult: Program includes a safety video, introduction to the boathouse, description and understanding of the equipment used and a water session in training boats.
  2. Learn to Row – Youth: Program includes a safety video, introduction to the boathouse, description and understanding of the equipment used and a water session in training boats.
  3. IROW: to introduce school groups/ youth to rowing. Program includes a safety video, introduction to the boathouse, description and understanding of the equipment used and a water session in training boats.
  4. Adult Recreational: adults who have completed learn to row, has full club privileges, has completed learn to row
  5. Junior Competitive: rows in sanctioned regattas, 17 yrs of age or younger. Has completed learn to row
  6. Adult Competitive: rows in sanctioned regattas and has full club privileges
  7. Adult Recreation Punch Cards: same as Adult Recreation, just pay for a punch card of 6 rows.

On behalf of the rowing and sport community in Manitoba, the Manitoba Rowing Association welcomes the Kenora Rowing Club with great excitement! Looking forward to many years of success with you as part of our crews!

Fionna Rettie Wins the Peter Nykoluk Rowing Scholarship

fiona rettie - double

Fiona Rettie, an athlete from the Winnipeg Rowing Club (WRC), was recently selected as recipient of the Peter Nykoluk Rowing Scholarship. Fiona, a student at the University of Winnipeg in the Kinesiology program, received a financial contribution of $6000 towards her education.

The Peter Nykoluk Rowing Scholarship was established in cooperation with the Manitoba Rowing Association, the Winnipeg Rowing Club (WRC), and the University of Manitoba Financial Aid and Awards. The Nomination Committee was led by Chairperson Jeff Powell, former Olympian and World Champion rower, and currently the General Manager of the Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba.

The Peter Nykoluk Rowing Scholarship has been handed out annually since 1995. Each recipient has distinguished themselves with notable accomplishments in and dedication to rowing. They have also met the other essential criteria in terms of educational aspirations, sound personal traits, contributions to the development of the sport, and leadership qualities.


Fiona Rettie is a Kinesiology student at the University of Winnipeg. She began rowing five years ago, and displays an ongoing passion for and commitment to the sport. She not only excels as an athlete herself, but also coaches others who are new at the sport.

Some of Fiona’s most notable competitions include the Royal Canadian Henley in 2014, Canada Games in 2013, and Western Canada Games in 2011. She coached at the Winnipeg Rowing Club in 2013 and 2014 in the youth summer camps program, and for adult learn-to-row sessions. Fiona is a dedicated volunteer at the club who regularly helps with special initiatives and projects.

In 2014, Fiona was recognized by the Royal Lifesaving Society and presented with an award (along with two other club members) for helping save the life of a young woman who was distressed in the Red River.


The Peter Nykoluk Rowing Scholarship was started in 1995 to recognize individuals whose outstanding contributions to and achievements in the sport of rowing parallel the values of Peter Nykoluk.

Peter was a competitive rower who proudly represented the Winnipeg Rowing Club at regattas, and supported his club and colleagues in many ways. Peter died in 1990 as he came to the rescue of his teammates who were involved in an accident that occurred when the University of Manitoba crew was travelling to a regatta in Minneapolis.

Peter was a unique individual whose enthusiasm for life was evident in everything that he undertook. He had an endless capacity for learning, and the dedication, perseverance and optimism he consistently displayed were contagious to all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

A rowing scholarship in Peter’s memory was established to recognize individuals whose outstanding contribution to and/or achievements in the sport of rowing closely parallel the values of determination, commitment and sportsmanship consistently displayed by Peter. The award has been administered annually since 1995, to financially assist athletes to pursue their education while participating in the sport of rowing. It was initiated by Peter’s father, Jim Nykoluk, to honour Peter’s memory, while ensuring the future of the sport that Peter loved.

In addition to the scholarship, Peter’s memory lives on in Peter’s Garden, which comes to life each summer on the grounds at the Winnipeg Rowing Club on Lyndale Drive. As well, the Nykoluk Memorial Trophy is presented annually to the fastest women’s senior pair at the NorthWest International Rowing Association (NWIRA) Championship Regatta.


Manitoba Athlete Rows Southern France

image (2)

Sixteen year-old Jordan Hamilton has been rowing since 2011 between Manitoba and Norway, and during his high school spring break this year, was invited to join his Norwegian Club for their training camp in Southern France. This two-week intense training camp brought significant improvement to Jordan’s technique, allowed for him to bring a few hundred kilometers of rowing under his belt, while spending time with some of his Norwegian rowing friends. “It was a fantastic opportunity, and I hope that the skills I learnt in France will help me significantly in the upcoming racing season,” says Hamilton.

Jordan, along with the Norwegian team, stayed in the picturesque village of Le Temple-sur-Lot, in the region of Aquitaine. The twelve day vigorous camp had him in a variety of boats (1x, 2x, 2-, 4x), mostly with my former racing mates. “It was fantastic to see how much my friends and I have improved over the winter; we had definitely found some new speed!” Hamilton says.

Attending the Manitoba Rowing Association Winter camp this year allowed for Hamilton to have somewhat of an advantage over his ‘competitors’, because he had already rowed this year in British Columbia, with Head Coach Antony Patterson. The B.C. training camp was quite different from the European one in that there were over 30 rowers on the water in France, while under ten at the MRA camp. The individual focus on each athlete brought tremendous skill improvement to his game, while both camps brought great experience leading up to this year’s rowing season overall.

The Norwegian camp allowed for some great off the water activity as well for the rowers. They explored the surrounding villages, played kayak-polo, ate tons of gourmet French cooking, biked through the rolling hills, socialized, and even found a bit of time to rest. “The social aspect of the camp was fantastic: we thoroughly enjoyed each others company! We also reached new heights of mischief, and even made friends with rowers from Britain, Denmark and Belarus,” says Jordan.

Hamilton notes his biggest accomplishment to date in rowing is his 3rd place finish in the Junior Men’s 4x at the Baltic Cup in 2014. It is a rowing competition with representatives from most Northern European countries. Winning a medal in that championship was incredible as they were Norway’s sole medal winners in 2014!

Hamilton’s role models in sport include Olaf Tufte, three time Olympic medalist for Norway in rowing. He has shown his that incredible determination to excel and taking your training seriously can have a huge impact on your athletic level of success. That carries over to his academics as well; hard work and determination allow for his to stay focused on all areas.

Jordan will be attending the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association, or CSSRA’s ( in June where he hopes to start the regatta season on a high note. Long-term goals include making the Canadian Junior National team and competing internationally.

The Manitoba Rowing Association wants to congatulate Jordan on this wonderful experience and wish all Manitoba athletes attending the CSSRA’s this year good luck!

Rowing Community Spring Opener

Womens1x1000x288BSpring time is here and the rowing community is excited! On April 25 starting at 6 p.m. join the Manitoba Rowing Association and the Winnipeg Rowing Club for our Spring Openr! This fun and relaxed event is a chance for members of the Manitoba rowing community to come together, have a BBQ and hopefully enjoy some terrific weather. Here are the details:

When: Saturday April 25th
Time: 6pm and onward
What: BBQ, potluck, BYOB.
Who: Club members, alumni, friends, family, anyone involved with rowing.

Our athlete reps will be organizing the potluck, so if this is something you are interested in participating in please let Andrea ( know and she can get you in contact with the right people!

Looking forward to a great night!

Rowing is Looking for Future Olympians


The Manitoba Rowing Association is actively recruiting future Olympians in high schools across the province. Head Coach Antony Patterson along with his dedicated coaching team is heading into ten high schools this spring to test athletes in various capacities to see if they have what it takes to head to the podium for Canada.

Rowing has sent more athletes to the Summer Olympics and Parolympics than any other sport in Manitoba. With such a great track record, we want to ensure this tradition continues.

In partnership with our National Sport Organization Rowing Canada, the MRA is running a Talent Identification (TID) program to fast track talented athletes from other sports toward the rowing national team. Established athletes that have perhaps hit a ceiling in their current sport or looking for a new challenge are great candidates. Identifying athletes at this age is key for the sport in both the physical and mental game for rowing. Athletes must be prepared to work hard both physically and mentally to make it to the top.

This high school testing is not only for future national team members. Rowing in the province of Manitoba has terrific programs for people of all ages and skill levels. The programming allows for excellent physical fitness, team building skills and is a fun time at any level. The opportunity to work along side past Olympians and an incredible coaching team is exciting for all levels of athletic performance.

If you are interested in finding out more about the in-school testing, or about joining a rowing program at any skill level, please contact Andrea (E: at the Manitoba Rowing Association office today!

Media Links:

Kenora Online

Successful 2015 Provincial Rowing Camp


The Manitoba Rowing Association had yet another successful Winter Rowing Camp February 10 – 23, 2015 in Victoria, British Columbia. Rowing out of the Victoria Rowing Club, eight rowers went with Antony Patterson, Manitoba Head Coach, to train for the 13 day experience. Intense training included being on the water up to three times per day throughout the Winter Camp, gaining exceptional experience on the water with our talented Head Coach.

With the water being frozen for our cold Manitoba winters, the Manitoba Rowing Association has developed winter training camps and training regimes for all levels of our athletes. The winter camps allow for junior and senior level athletes to test their skills with the Manitoba Head Coach, gain experience while rowing with some of the country’s very best. National team coaches were on site throughout this year’s camp to help develop both Manitoba athletes and our Head Coach. A great learning and athletic experience for everyone who went on this year’s Winter Camp in Victoria.

Here is footage of our athletes in Victoria –

For more information about our Winter Rowing programs and how you can get involved in this exceptional sport, please contact Andrea at the Manitoba Rowing Association via email at



Congratulations to Sandra Kirby – RCA Umpire of the Year


It is with great excitement that the Manitoba Rowing Association announces that Sandra Kirby has been awarded the Rowing Canada Aviron Umpire of the Year Award! Sandi has done so much for the sport of Rowing in Canada, and we at the MRA wanted to share a bit about Sandi and her wide-range of accomplishments as they relate to rowing in Manitoba and across Canada.

In the past year, Sandi has created the RCA Umpire Committee, is a Member of the RCA Umpire Committee – RCA –UC (Guylaine Bernier, Chair) and has been elected to and now Chair of the Umpire Education and Development sub-committee of the RCA Umpire Committee. As Chair of the Umpire Education and Development Program
UMPIRE TRAINING DEVELOPMENT Sandi developed the Clinicians’ workshop program (with assistance from Tim Henderson and Glenn Bailey), delivered the two day workshop in Toronto for all of Canada’s clinicians along with Time Henderson and Guylaine Bernier, and has completed the follow up and critical path development for the complete revision of the RCA umpire training programs (level 1 Associate; Level 2 RCA Umpire License; Level 3 Chief Umpire and Level 4 Clinician).

Sandi is no stranger to hard work. She has gone on to organize and coordinate the three working groups, one for for each level of umpire development, and has worked directly with the Level 1 group, monitoring their progress and helping to set their internal goals and timelines. As part of this, Sandi has prepared interim report for RCA on the UED sub committee and the progress of all the working groups, has presented the interim report to the Umpire Committee at the meetings in Toronto at the end of October where it was positively received and used as the base for the next 12 months of umpire development and training, and prepared a transition goal for full implementation of the new training programs. This received its first approval from the UC and will next be presented to the CEO of RCA and to PAC.

Sandi has also been the person responsible for the new FISA candidate identification and training program, has prepared with Guylaine Bernier, the timeline and suggested selection process to identify candidates across Canada for the FISA examination in 2015, and after candidate selection, matched mentors to candidates and prepared program for getting the candidates fully prepared by June 2015.

Sandi has Co-chaired (co-presented) the 4-day FISA training workshop with Guylaine Bernier at the Henley course in August, 2014. This was tough to do and very very well received by the candidates. In addition, she coordinated the evaluation process for the FISA candidates to keep them on track over the 12 months to the examination.

And her work does not stop there. As Prairie Clinician, she is the person responsible for delivery of umpire education on the prairies. In the past reporting year, and upon request of the PRAs, she organized and delivered the clinics and seminars across the prairies. These have all been organized through the planning and support of the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Rowing Associations. In the past year, just over 30 new associates and recertified RCA licensed umpires were trained, along with 7 new Chief Umpires. This has raised the capacity of umpires on the Prairies and will greatly contribute to both the quality of regattas and the consistency of umpiring on the prairies.

As a volunteer, Sandi has delivered clinics for Level 1 (Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg),
Seminars for recertification RCA license (Regina, Calgary), Clinics for Chief Umpires (Calgary, Winnipeg/Kenora). She has also completed umpire evaluations in Calgary and Winnipeg and acts as a mentor for some of the 9 new Associates (Level 1) in Manitoba.

As a member of Manitoba Rowing Association Board of Directors, Sandi prepared and presented a plan for umpire development with a long view past the Canada Games in 2017. It will be the 50th anniversary of Canada Games and the 150th anniversary of Canada. In that plan, Kenora (Ontario) was also included as a potential part of the region for the purposes of identifying and training umpires for regattas.

Sandi also introduced the MRA to new initiatives in “safe sport” and we embarked on a review of the policies with an eye to making sport safer for athletes. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection was invited to work with the MRA on child protection considerations. This initiative has positive implications for how coaches – and umpires – behave when interacting with athletes and when participating in events.

As a member of the Winnipeg Rowing Club Sandi organized an athlete’s clinic – “Know your rules!” for rowers competing in regattas such as the NWIRA and Royal Canadian Henley. It was well received and will be repeated at least annually.

As an active umpire in 2014 Sandi was selected to umpire at the FISA World Masters Championships (Ballarat Australia), retired from FISA umpiring because of the 65 year age limit to active international umpiring (after having umpired at the Pan American Games (MEX), the World Cup in Lucerne (SUI), the World Under-23 in Racice, (Czech Republic), the World Masters (AUST) and the Paralympic Games of 2012 in London, UK.) and has umpired at a number of local and regional regattas. For the third year, has umpired at Coastal Rowing event in Alma, Quebec, with a view to bringing coastal rowing to Manitoba.

Sandi’s dedicated to umpiring, coaching and rowing is absolutely admirable. She is a sport scientist and an international expert on harassment and abuse in sport, and Manitoba is truly blessed to have her in our province taking rowing to the next level of excellence with all of her endeavors.

Thank you to Sandi for all that you do for the Canadian rowing!

Winnipeg Indoor Rowing Championships 2015


Join the Manitoba Rowing Association for the 2015 Winnipeg Indoor Rowing Championships on Sunday, February 1, 2015. This event is open to all levels including those new to the sport of rowing! The race events will be split be age group and are 2000 meters in length. There will also be some fun events such as relays and a 500 meter race for the non-rower interested in participating. Prizes will be awarded and refreshments served.

The event will be held at he Winnipeg Rowing Club, located at 20 Lyndale Drive. Doors open at 7a.m. and weigh-ins begin at 7:30am. Racing starts at 8:30am, and there will be a $15 registration fee.

For more information, call 204.237.1690. The registration deadline is January 24, 2015.