Westdale Secondary School Rowing

Information for the Westdale Secondary School Rowing Community

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CSSRAs: From a Former Coach

Dear Westdale Rowers,

Mike, Tom, and Peter have kindly allowed me to write a post to all of you in light of the upcoming CSSRA races this weekend, so here it goes 🙂 :

Throughout this past year I’ve had the privilege of seeing the blog updates from Mike and Tom in regards to your hard work, training, and racing results. It’s been incredibly awesome (in the true “awe inspiring” sense of the word) to see how much you’ve all developed athletically and progressed.

I’ve missed coaching you at Westdale, but I know that this year’s team has been doing a great job – both the athletes and the coaches. As you move into your final regatta of the school year, I want to leave you with this:

You’ve worked so hard for this. For many of you, you’ve been training multiple years for this. “Good luck” is something that I could say, but I reckon that “luck” is not as important as executing what you already know and have been trained for. You KNOW what to do. Go do it. Make it yours. And have fun. 😉 Knowing that you’ve left everything you could on the water after rowing to the best of your capabilities as a team is the most important thing. Yes, even more than your final numerical placement on a scoreboard.

I’ll be cheering for you, across a different kind of pond, in a slightly different continent. My heart is at the regatta this weekend.

Miss you all… and sure, I’ll still say it: GOOD LUCK!!!

(Former Westdale Rowing Coach 2006-2015)

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Student/Parent Meeting for 2015/2016 Rowing Season

We are holding our Parent/Student meeting on Tuesday, Nov 3rd at 7:00 pm in the Westdale High School Library.  This is for anyone interested in being part of the Westdale High School Rowing crew for the 2015/2016 season.

The meeting will provide information on the structure of the indoor season and the opportunity for parents and students to learn and ask questions about the rowing program at Westdale.


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Tom Beshoff – Coaching Introduction

Dear Westdale Rowers & Parents,

Please see below for a message from our newest addition to the coaching team, Tom Beshoff:

I just thought I would fire off a note to say that I’m thrilled to be a part of Westdale Rowing!  From what I’ve seen these past few mornings, there’s some great potential in the squad and your coaches have done some really good work getting you to this point of the season.

I’m looking forward to working with all of the rowers at various points until June, and I’ll do my very best to help you be as fast as possible on the water.  If we combine your best effort with our best effort, I can tell you that there is NO LIMIT on what you can achieve.

I don’t use quotes very often, but one that is absolute gold in our sport, is:

   “What the Mind Believes, the Body will Deliver”

I’ll provide a couple of stories later this week to show you why this one really works for me. In the meantime, I’d like you to do some homework.  I want you to think of your two best qualities that help the most in making you go faster.  And I also want you to think of two things that you feel are standing in the way of you getting faster.  I’ll be asking you at some point, for these answers.


…I highly encourage all athletes – both men’s & women’s teams – to consider Tom’s homework points above, as you’ll be called upon in this coming week to provide your responses.

Welcome, Tom!


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Coaching Introduction – Sarah Zhou

Hello all,

My name is Sarah and I look forward to joining Coaches Mike, Peter and Alessandra. I am currently in my 3rd year of the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Biomedical Specialization) program at McMaster.

Prior to University, I played soccer at a provincial level, but I was forced to retire due to a recurring knee injury. Fortunately, as I was looking for a new activity, I was introduced to rowing through the McMaster Novice program. Currently, I am a lightweight on the McMaster Varsity Rowing Team. I also rowed for Leander Boat Club over the summer, where my crew and I placed bronze in the lightweight 4- at ROWONTARIO Championships.

Although I have previously coached two soccer teams, this will be my first experience with coaching rowing. I hope to bring my enthusiasm and passion for sports to the benefit of the team while learning tons from the experienced coaches.

Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions about rowing, schoolwork, University or life in general!


My lightweight 2x partner and I (in bow) rowing for Leander Boat Club

My lightweight 2x partner and I (in bow) rowing for Leander Boat Club

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Coaches! Yes We Have Coaches

We’ve had some additions to the coaching staff over the past week.    Here is our current roster of coaches for the 2014/2015 Indoor Season

Head Coach – Mike Roche

Assistant Head Coach – Alessandra Gage (click for contact info & coaching intro)

Assistant Coach – Peter DeNew

Assistant Coach – Dan Castellana

Assistant Coach – Sarah Zhou (click for coaching intro)

Many of you already know Peter DeNew.  His daughter is a Westdale Alumni and he has been coaching at Westdale and at Leander the past two years.

Dan Castellana is also a Westdale Alumni and is a novice coach.

Sarah Zhou is a McMaster student and is a member of the McMaster University rowing team and also a member of the Leander rowing team. For more about Sarah, read her coaching introduction.

The new assistant coaches have been a great addition to our program and are already helping Ali and me better manage the program.

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Athlete Feedback – Survey for 2014 Outdoor Rowing Season

Hello Athletes!

Now that you’ve had a few days to recover from your final races of the outdoor season (but while the season is still fresh in your minds) we’d like to invite ALL athletes (Jr/Sr/Men/Women/AM/PM/injured) to provide feedback on the training, coaching, and general thoughts on the outdoor season.

Please submit your feedback by completing the survey found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QGHYT2Q

This survey is intended for athletes only because a separate survey/feedback form will be given to parents & will be collected separately. This will help us in effectively analyzing the feedback. The parent feedback survey will be posted within the next few days (this week) – thanks in advance for your patience.

I highly encourage everyone to respond because this is our way of determining what’s working & what needs to be changed and it’s very useful for improving the program. Be sure to have your voice heard by completing the survey 🙂


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Summer Rowing – Working Links

Hi Rowers,

I’ve been informed that the hyperlinks didn’t work in my last post, so I’ve updated that post with working hyperlinks & am re-posting the links here JUST in case.

Here are the four links you need (minus all the extra info I listed in the previous blog post):

1) The main blog you’ll need to check is this one: http://leandermanager.wordpress.com/

2) The summer rowing information for Jr. Men (this includes ALL highschool aged athletes) can be found here: http://leandermanager.wordpress.com/lbc-junior-men/

3) The summer rowing information for the Jr. Women (including ALL highschool aged athletes) can be found here: http://leandermanager.wordpress.com/leander-boat-club-and-mcmaster-university-rowing-training-blog/

4) The Summer Regatta Schedule can be found here: https://leandermanager.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/summer-sched.pdf

Hopefully this helps,