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Sports

Portage Lakes Rowing Association offering classes

7/3/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

NEW FRANKLIN — Registration for the Portage Lakes Rowing Association’s fall Introduction to Rowing classes is underway.

“It’s a three-hour class that we are going to offer on Aug. 2 and on Aug. 4, so a person can pick whichever of those two dates fits their schedule the best,” said Portage Lakes Rowing Association (PLRA) President Karen Koslowski-Cahoon. “If you attend the three-hour class, you will end up spending at least an hour or so in a shell on the water rowing after we undergo some fundamentals on the land. That way, we can prep you before you go in the water.”

Koslowski-Cahoon said the program is specifically created for people 18 and older who have no rowing experience. The first 90 minutes of the class includes a safety video, instruction of technique on a rowing machine and familiarization with the equipment, she said, and the second half of class will be spent on the water rowing with instruction from a coach and a coxswain.

“You are going to spend some time on the [ergometer], which is a different name for a rowing machine, and you will learn techniques that transfer to the water, like understanding how to push with your legs and how to pull with your arms and back,” she said. “We will also do a little bit of legwork out on our deck area. The idea is to mimic the things you will be doing in the shell on the water.”

According to Koslowski-Cahoon, the PLRA provides all of the necessary equipment for the classes.

“The only thing you will need is a pair of sneakers, a pair of shorts that aren’t loose fitting and a T-shirt,” she said. “You will also want to bring a water bottle because you are going to get thirsty. But that’s about all you need. We supply everything else as part of your dues.”

Each Introduction to Rowing class is limited to 18 participants, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis, said Koslowski-Cahoon, adding that anywhere from 12 to 24 people generally sign up for the sessions whenever they are offered.

The Aug. 2 class will run from 9 a.m. until noon, while the Aug. 4 class will go from 6 to 9 p.m. Each of the Introduction to Rowing classes costs $50, which can be rolled over toward the Novice Sweep Program.

“If you enjoy the class, which we hope you will, that $50 would go toward your fall dues and you can join our novice program,” she said. “The novice program costs $200 and you are coached twice a week for 10 weeks and you can really learn how to row.”

The Novice Sweep Program features regularly scheduled practices on Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 to 10 a.m., with novices having the option of being able to attend one or both practices each week.

Koslowski-Cahoon said there currently are more than 50 members in the PLRA, which is based out of Craftsmen Park, located at 4450 Rex Lake Drive.

“A lot of people join because they love the outdoors, or they love sports, or they want to try something new or they love being on the water or around nature. And some people just want to get physically fit,” she said. “There are a lot of reasons people join the program, and you can accomplish all of those goals by rowing on the Portage Lakes.”

For additional information about the Introduction to Rowing classes or the PLRA, go to www.portagelakesrowing.com.

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