|The one snowy day earlier this winter didn't stop the new Loudoun County |
crew club from cleaning up their future launch site at Beaver Dam
30 Raider students have paid $450 each to purchase boats and equipment and are currently in the process of hiring coaches. The students recently cleared land at Beaver Dam Rservoir for a launch site and the the club is purchasing boats, oars and safety equipment from colleges and other clubs up and down the east coast.
“It is amazing how helpful other rowing clubs have been," says Loudoun County High School crew club board president, Amy Powers. “Everyone I have spoken to has offered to help in some way. One club has offered drive down from New York with a trailer filled with oars which they are selling to us for a fraction of the cost. They have thrown in an ergometer (a rowing machine) at no extra cost.”
Power says that Beaver Dam Reservoir is an ideal body of water for rowing. When Washington DC was making an Olympic bid, it was at Beaver Dam Reservoir where they planned to have rowing, kayaking and possibly distance swimming.
The reservoir has plenty of space for a 1500-2000 meter course. Currently Briar Woods has a dock and a boat house on the southeast side of the reservoir. Loudoun County High School will be installing a dock on the Evergreen Mill side of the reservoir near Reservoir Road.
Fairfax County owns the water in the reservoir and Loudoun County owns the land and both counties have given the clubs permission to use the land and water alike.
Most weekends you will find club members down at the reservoir doing waterfront improvements. The area at the end of Reservoir Road is a popular hangout for teens and there was a lot of trash to be cleaned up. They have cleared overgrown brush, removed the trash, and improved the site.
The Loudoun County High School crew club is made up of 9 boys and 21 girls. Few of the students have any experience with rowing but are excited to get on the water.
They have been working out using rowing machines at various gyms across the county and are meeting after school to work out and make sure they are in top shape.
According to Powers, rowing is a sport that uses 98 percent of muscle groups so being in top shape is important. Swimming, for example, uses 97 percent and wrestling uses 92 percent of muscle groups. In other words, rowing is not for the faint of heart.
“After suffering multiple concussions in football, I was looking for a new non-contact sport. Being in top physical shape is important to me and this seemed like the perfect sport for keeping in shape,” said Wade von Kleeck, a member of the boys’ team.
Rowing provides student-athletes with unique opportunities and experiences. With Title IX, it is also a great way for qualified girls, in particular, to earn athletic scholarships to college.
US Rowing has shown great interest in holding major scholastic, masters and international regattas in Loudoun County. The Sports Counsel at Visit Loudoun, as well as a number of members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, have shown great interest in seeing this sport grow in Loudoun.
The Loudoun County High School crew club is a member of the Loudoun Rowing Club and is under their umbrella along with Briar Woods and Stone Bridge.
Some of the Raiders attended a camp last summer and learned to row with members from the other Loudoun high schools. They caught the bug and decided to begin their own club at Loudoun County.
There are unused college crew scholarships, especially for girls. Many students with just a little experience are finding themselves able to walk on to the crew team when the get to college, and this is a big motivation for students.
The Loudoun County High School crew club can use support. Anyone with coaching experience is welcome to apply for a part time coaching position for the spring. To apply for a coaching position or to support the club, please contact Amy Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org.