Four members of the South Cariboo Rowing Club (SCRC) got to compete for the very first time and it was at the BC Summer Games in Abbotsford, July 21-24.
Courtney Cave and Lydia Kinasewich rowed in the Women’s Singles and James Edge and Noah Betz rowed in the Men’s Singles. The local rowers gave it their all and were happy to compete in the games.
“It was really, really fun,” says Cave. “[We were] racing with the best people in British Columbia.”
The rowers all had their first 1,500 time trails heats on July 22.
Each heat had 10 rowers: Cave finished seventh in her heat; Kinasewich, eighth in her heat; Edge, eighth in his heat; and Betz, 10th in his heat.
The rowers all complimented their fellow competitors and the overall atmosphere of the games.
“All the competitors were very friendly, supportive and sportsman like,” says Kinasewich.
“It really encouraged you to do your best and push yourself when you’re rowing against the best in your sport in the province.”
Kinasewich and Betz both had personal best times in the 1,500 metre time trials.
On July 23, the day started off strong with Cave and Edge taking first place in their heats.
“It was the hardest I’ve ever pushed myself,” says Cave. “I felt pretty good about myself.”
All four were able to advance into the finals.
“My mindset going into the games was to enjoy the experience and to go out on the water and give my utmost effort and push myself to do my best,” says Kinasewich.
The Fraser River running provided a strong current. The river offered a welcome challenge to the rowers since they are used to practising on Watson Lake.
“Rowing on a river is different due to the current,” says Cave. “But I kept calm and stayed with the current.”
She finished eighth with 6:34.18 and Kinasewich finished ninth with 6:43.32 in the Women’s Singles final.
Edge finished eighth with 6:09.28 and Betz finished 10th with 6:59.80 in Men’s Singles final.
“Everyone did really well,” says Edge.
“I’m proud of everyone, especially Noah and Courtney. Noah really pushed himself and he had a lot of fun doing it.”
Says Betz: “Being one of the youngest people there, I didn’t do the best, but when you compare my times to other people, I did my best and pulled my weight. [The team] did great.”
SCRC coach Will Van Osch says was proud of his rowers with how they performed and acted during the games.
“The schedules were grueling and the mornings were very early but the athletes rose to the occasion and managed to perform their best, despite the demands of the competition. The team worked well together and managed to do what needed to be done with good spirits and genuine concern for each other.”
During the closing ceremonies on July 24, Cave was awarded a $500 bursary for volunteering, leadership and athletics that she had applied for through Coast Capital Savings.
With the games over, the SCRC team begins training for its next confirmed rowing competition at the Deep Cove High School Regatta in October.
The rowers appreciated the experience they gained and look forward to what comes next.
“After competing in the games, I feel encouraged to continue rowing and improving in the sport,” says Kinasewich.
“The games had a really great atmosphere and I left feeling inspired to continue giving my best effort in rowing.”