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Island Lake Rowing Club hosts ‘Come and try’ Day

June 2, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

You may have seen them skimming quietly across the water at the Island Lake Conservation area – usually in the early morning hours when the water is calm and still.

The Island Lake Rowing Club provides both recreational and competitive rowing. They have everything from single person sculls to eight-person boats in their fleet.

The Club hosted Come and Try Day on Saturday, May 28, where the public was invited out to learn about the sport and actually get in a boat and give it a try.

The day featured an introduction to the sport including the basics of rowing stroke, rowing terminology, safe boat handling and the elements of proper technique.

After learning the stroke on land-based rowing machines, visitors then took a seat in a boat to get the feel of stroking the oars.

When they were ready, it was onto the water under the watchful eye of instructors.

“Today is Come and Try, and it’s promoted by Rowing Canada, so it’s a national event so clubs across the country are doing it,” said Island Lake Rowing Club head coach, Bill Stone. “Anybody can come out today. People signed up on our website. We introduce them to the rowing machine to learn the rowing stroke. We have some boats on dry land, so they can translate from the rowing machine to what it’s like in a boat, with the sliding seat and what you do with the oars. Then we take them down to the dock and put them in a boat. They have a choice of going into a single with pontoons, or we have a couple of doubles down there as well. They go out on the water and enjoy themselves. We give them a little bit more instruction on the dock, and then they’re off. Everybody’s done really well today.”

The Club has a full line-up of rowing through the summer months including a camp where kids can learn the sport.

“We have a kids camp that we run through the summer,” Bill explained. “It’s five days of rowing all morning then activities in the afternoon.”

Come and Try Day had several experienced high school rowers, teaching new people the nuances of the sport.

The Club offers several ways of participating in the sport. You can take part in the ‘learn to row’ program or sign up as a full-time member.

To learn more about the Club, visit online at

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