Westdale Secondary School Rowing

Information for the Westdale Secondary School Rowing Community


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Where are We?

There is no defined date on when we can train at the school. It definitely looks like it will be after the first term in January. Sorry I can’t be more positive on a date.

The challenge is that no criteria has been established on how to conduct safe training indoors. Until such guidelines are established you need to train on your own and find ways of maintaining a level of performance.

The rowing club is looking at determining how to train indoors but this would be for club training. For activities at the school it will be the school board that will be the decider. While we can maintain social distancng the issue for us is the erg itself. The flywheel is a very efficient mover of air and is very effective at dispersing particles. Case in point: the number of positive test cases that came out of a local spin class despite the gym following all guidelines.

I still have the clothing order to distribute. Apologies for not getting this done.

My advice is to keep finding ways of doing endurance training as it is most important. If and when we get out of this we’ll be able to start to train together in person. Gasp!

If you need training advice than I can give anyone that asks advice on how to do old school training. I spent the first 10 years rowing and racing without touching an erg so there are ways of training. This is very true, ergs did not exist at the time.

I am really hoping that we can get to the racing season and compete. We are one of the original sports from when the school was formulated and 2021 will be 90 years. Something to look forward to.

Keep the faith. Look to a positive future.

Your truly,

The village idiot


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The Past and the Future

I have a few items to cover from the past season and the future season.

The past first as it is easier given the fact it has occurred. I finally have the clothing order from the spring season. That means the unisuits and other clothing pieces are now available. The challenge is finding a way to distribute this out to you. Maybe a parking lot under social distancing rules, adequately masked, and gloved. Might need a secret password so that I know that I am not giving a shirt to a COVID desperado. Suggestions welcome.

As to the future. I can honestly say that I have no clue how this will play out. HWDSB has cancelled all fall sports which means that we are not able to practice until the new year. This is not conducive to success but necessity is the mother of invention so we’ll need to find ways of training to be successful.

I’m trying to find the means to train effectively. While the school is not accessible the rowing club is a potential. This would mean that we are not training at the school or as Westdale. If you are interested in rowing than a non-school means is what is available. This also true if you want to be successful. If there is enough interest than I will pursue this with the club. I’ll also move all communication away from this forum once I have numbers. This is a club rowing centered training.

The ergs will not be available as they are in the school and getting access is almost nonexistent. There are many ways to maintain aerobic training without erging and everyone should consider it. More to follow.

The thing that I want to push is that you need to plan on training, doing it effectively, and being prepared to race. The last part may not occur but without the first two you may as well not race.

I’ll put out a training plan for those interested.

If I gaze into a crystal ball 🔮 this will be an even more challenging year than last. Everything this last spring was cancelled due to many unknowns that are now in many ways known realities. If a second wave occurs than the response will be another shutdown which means that training and racing in the spring won’t occur. This is a harsh prediction but it will occur if the lessons learned in the past are not applied in the future. I’ll leave my political views on the current approaches to another forum 🙂

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Social distance. Eat healthy. Train smartly. Treat your parents well.

Be happy and don’t let the doom and gloomers get you down. I was once told by someone that in desperate chaotic times that those who preach faith and optimism in the future are viewed as the village idiot. So be a village idiot!

Hope to see you all soon.


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Virtual Practices…

I’m starting to feel a little out of sorts. We should be well into our training at this point in April but all we can do is stare at the possibilities.

To maintain my sanity I will be posting virtual workouts as if we were on the water. If you have access to an erg then give these a try. I’m going to be doing these workouts as well but I do balk at 75 minutes on an erg. On the water, Yes!

Thursday 04/16. 75 minute steady state 23 spm

Friday 04/17 60 minute steady state 24 spm

Saturday 04/18 70 minute steady state 23 spm plus tech emphasis on fast catch slide control


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All the Best to our Grads

One of the mixed feeling events that happens every year is a number of our crew mates graduating and moving on. On one hand you are sorry to see them go but on the other hand you are very happy to have seen them develop and move on to the next chapter in their lives.

Normally I get to stand in front of the whole team, including the parents, and pass on my deep gratitude for tolerating years of early morning practices, long days at regattas, and the ravings of the coaches. I won’t get that opportunity this year and I’ll need to do it from a distance. Think of me being close by while you read the following but at a socially acceptable distance.

To Ethan, Charlotte, Gillian, Sequoia and Serena.

Thanks for 4 years of your dedication to the sport. There were probably many days when you wanted to pack it in but you stuck with it. I’m hoping that you have learned how to push through issues and define goals that reach out well into the future. All of you have progressed into confident men and women and you have a lot to look forward to and achieve.

It has been a joy to coach you over the years and I wish you all the best.


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2020 Outdoor Season Cancelled

It is fairly safe to say that our outdoor high school racing season is cancelled. All the races that we would be interested in racing at are cancelled and school won’t start back until May.

There were two potential fundraisers that were going to occur in the next three weeks and that was a Grocery Bag at Fortinos and the Chili Cookoff. I had hopes that we would be through this but that is not going to occur. So these events will be cancelled.

The rowing club has not assessed the outdoor rowing season which would include high school and club racing seasons. I hold out hope that at some point there will be an an ability to train. This would only be relevant to those that are interested in club rowing which if it does occur I would encourage everyone to do. 

There are many unfortunate aspects of this turn of events. Our graduating athletes will not get an opportunity to have one more kick at CSSRA. Our novices are not getting a chance to learn this sport. Most importantly we won‘t be able to enjoy each others company at many spring regattas.

To all the parents, thanks for all your help and support. Without the strong support from the parents the coaches would have an extremely difficult time running the program. Thank you.

On to the 2020/2021 season. Keep training, stay safe. If you need training guidelines please contact me. I can give you hints.


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March Break Training

I haven’t set up a training plan for this week. I had considered training sessions at the club for those of you with LBC memberships but the current reality of the virus is preventing any such plans.

If you have the option of training on your own than continue to do so. Ensure you are taking all the precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. Check in on any neighbours that might need help.

I’ll be updating the blog later this week with the plans for the outdoor season. Yes we’ll have one! Just don’t know when we’ll start.


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A Message From Victoria

Hey everyone. So I run the afternoon “Leander” practices on Tuesday and Wednesday 4-6. Although I love to run these practices, no one has come in the last 3 weeks. If it would be possible, could those attending let me know when they are planning on coming so I do not need to drive down to the club if I don’t need to. Thank you.

Victoria is looking for some people to train. If you are a club junior then get down to the club and show an erg some appreciation.


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McMaster 2×4 Details

First and foremost, everyone under the age of 18 needs to have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Must be one of these and I can’t do it. So show up with the following signed:

https://www.regattacentral.com/cms/uploads/leander_boat_club/files/ROWING%20RELEASE%2C%20WAIVER%20OF%20LIABILITY.pdf

The draw is here:

https://www.regattacentral.com/cms/uploads/leander_boat_club/files/Mac%202×4%202020%20-%20Preliminary%20Draw(1).pdf

I will see you all on Saturday morning.