The Manitoba Rowing Association has been very busy with camps for all age groups this winter! Most recently, we sent our Row to Podium athletes to Victoria to train alongside the National Team, and our Senior level athletes to Austin, Texas for another successful team building and rowing camp.

The Austin athletes enjoyed great weather while they rowed two to three times each day for the eleven day camp. With the hot weather and tremendous facilities in Austin, our athletes were able to get some great training and on the water time in. Skill development and on the water training were a key focus to this February camp, and Coach Steve Taylor felt the athletes had not only a great experience, but sharpened their skills immensely for the 2014 upcoming season.

The same week, Head Coach Brent Figg headed to the west coast with athletes for training lead by the Rowing Canada  Row to Podium program. Here, In the first week of camps, Brent was given the opportunity to coach our athletes alongside Chuck McDiarmid and Barney Williams. Our athletes had the tremendous experience of training in the shadow of the Senior National Team athletes. An excellent experience for both our athletes and Coach Figg.

“The environment was truly incredible,” says Figg when speaking about the west coast camp experience. Both on the water and the overall environment, the athletes and Brent were continuously learning and inspired. Training with Olympian and two time World Champion Lindsay Jennerich brought a new level of intensity to the group.

The second week on the coast was a great opportunity for Loch Inglis to stay and train with the Under 23 National team. Terry Paul invited Brent Figg to stay and coach with him as a surprise to Brent. An exceptional learning opportunity for the MRA Head Coach, Brent was thankful to be granted this opportunity. There were athletes from across the country training up at Shawnigan Lake, working towards Trials coming up in May for the Senior Men’s team.

Brent was able to get some great one on one face time with Jackie Novak, Head of Coaching Education and Development for Rowing Canada, as well as various professional development opportunities with both the Head and Assistant Coach for the Senior Men’s team, sport psychologists, physiologists, and many others to truly have a great mentorship and learning experience. This integration and engagement with Rowing Canada is truly critical for our coaches and athletes to make it to the next level.

Our athletes were inspired at both the Austin and West coast camps, and were able to see what it takes to reach the next level of excellence. The Manitoba Rowing Association is excited for the upcoming season for both athletes and coaches!