We love rowing, and we use it as a means to bring full body fitness, love of the water and the outdoors, meaningful competition and a reason to push yourself to those we coach.
We will grow the sport of rowing, in order to provide access to as many as possible to the physical and mental benefits offered by the sport. We will infect the communities in which we operate with the positive energy of those who are passionate about taking care of our environment and enjoying it in a manner that creates minimal impact and maximum connection. We will do this in a way that is sustainable for our growth, and yet accessible to all. We will help individuals meet and exceed their fitness goals and we will strive to bring peace, a sense of fulfillment and a desire to push boundaries to the minds and hearts of our rowers.
As with many sports, we know that how programs are run; consistency in coaching; and personal connection make a huge difference in both a participants ability to learn and grow, and the enjoyment of the sport overall. We offer programs for every age and every level of rower. From the first lesson, notes on the rowers progress are kept and available at all times to all the coaches so that we can provide consistent coaching on the water. Whether you learned to row with us, row competitively with us or row with another club and just drop in on weekend, we know there is a fine balance in wanting to enjoy the water around you and be able to concentrate on your own workout, while still receiving enough feedback to learn and improve. We also know that this balance is different for everyone.
Our learn to row programs are done one-on-one or in small groups you choose, over three one-hour sessions. Once you've learned to row, you can drop in on weekends, do personal coaching sessions or join one of our season long weekly programs. For our younger rowers we have our junior scullers programs, and for rowers of all ages, we have our Fitness Rowing programs. Both of these programs allow you to row at your own pace, receive coaching and workout plans, get a great workout and enjoy the scenery. Our Competitive and Masters programs are intended to train for speed and racing. The group has a collective workout plan, and usually timed or distance pieces are completed together to add competition and improve speed.
If you have ever thought about rowing, now is time you've been waiting for. With once of the most beautiful rowing courses in Canada, there is no better time to start than the present.
Co-founders Kathy McCarthy and Jeremy Fowler both started rowing at their local high schools (1995 and 1994). During this highly influential time of their lives, rowing became their motivation, their fun, their discipline, their drive and their social network. They both went on to row at University and coach at local clubs, and for both, at some point they realized that they wanted rowing to be something more, that they wanted to be able to use it as a tool and as their work to bring some of the same joy and passion to others that they got out of the sport.
For Kathy, the moment that she realized that long term she wanted to 'do rowing' was when she was invited by Carol Love of the Peterborough Rowing Club to go on a camping trip in Algonquin Park using rowing shells as the method of on water travel. A long time camper, Kathy was thrilled to be able to mix the two together. After finishing that trip she decided that someday she wanted to start her own rowing centre, offering trips to various destinations with the method of travel being a rowing shell. As most things do, although it remained a long term goal, it took a bit of a back seat while Kathy went to the University of Western Ontario, took Mechanical Engineering, and then worked in the field while earning her Professional Engineering designation. During this time, startup attempts of a rowing tripping centre began, both with her long time friend and team mate Kelly Johnson, as well as her brother Tom McCarthy, both of whom showed interest in being involved, but like her, had taken on other careers. Years later, in 2007, Kathy got involved with the Barrie Rowing Club where she had started an office for the company she worked for (JMP Engineering) and met Jeremy Fowler.
As for Jeremy, although originally from St. Catharines, his family cottage was in Muskoka, and so after finishing school, he returned to work in Muskoka, running a marina and selling real estate for several years before moving to Barrie to continue with Real Estate. While in Barrie, he wanted to get back involved with rowing and started coaching at the Barrie Rowing Club. Shortly after getting involved, he started a new high school program for 'Nouvelle Alliance', a local school, and also became the club manager. During his time in Barrie, Jeremy started to brainstorm about a future rowing centre that would allow him to use some of the renewed energy and passion he had for the sport.
And so in 2009, after coaching together at the Barrie Rowing Club, Kathy and Jeremy decided to move to Muskoka to start a rowing centre in a community with a seemingly endless supply of beautiful waterways. What started as a small outside setup in Minett at Wallace Marina in 2009 has slowly grown into the current rowing centre with a home base at Duke's in Port Carling, satellite setup at Rosseau Lake College and out trip locations across Ontario.
Every year, we are fortunate enough to continue to grow our offerings in this community and beyond and look forward to each new step along the way.