The Gorge Narrows Rowing Club celebrated National Come Try Day on Sunday, May 29th, 2022. Participants arrived looking to experience the Selkirk Waterway, the traditional lands of the Lekwungen people of the Songees and Esquimalt Nations, in an unfamiliar way. With trusting smiles, on this gusty day, they bravely tried something new.
This free event exposed over 50 people to flatwater rowing. They worked through a two-hour experience that included a boathouse tour, equipment orientation, and sequencing of the rowing motion on the ergometer before ending up on the water sculling in a quad. Each four-person boat was steered by a member of the GNRC community sitting in the bow seat allowing for great interaction and ensuring a safe and positive first-time experience.
An exciting atmosphere was created with a final challenge on the rowing machine for participants to compete in a 100M race with coaches and bystanders cheering on encouragement, with the fastest times of the day winning a free rowing lesson. National Come Try Day reminds us of the impact we can have in our community when we host a free event.
One family attending the event had this to say “we moved from the Philippines to Victoria 18 months ago, it has been difficult for us to find community activities we could do as a family with our teenage children that would be fun for everyone, this has been a fantastic day.”
Many people have barriers when it comes to joining sports clubs, lack of exposure to rowing and cost are two of the main challenges. This day gave GNRC the opportunity to discuss varied program options as well as grants available for athletes. It was exciting and enriching for all the GNRC volunteers to connect with the community through this experience again this year. We look forward to seeing this event continue its growth in the future!