BY ED MORAN
PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER
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When Chris Chase was asked to join USRowing to head up all youth rowing initiatives last fall, one of the things he hoped to bring to the association was an enhanced coaching education platform.
His idea was a series of webinars, and when he presented the idea along with a list of topics, he learned that National Team Sports Science Coordinator Cameron Kiosoglous had already run coaching education webinars and also had a list of topics to suggest.
Chase said he and Kiosoglous began mapping out what kind of a series they could together and how it could be presented to USRowing members.
Then came the Covid-19 crisis and the mounting interruption to daily life it is causing, including the end of the scheduled rowing season and the postponement of the 2020 Olympics. And as one regatta after the next was canceled, and boathouses and clubs all over the country were forced to close their doors, Chase saw that the webinar series could fill some voids.
He modeled his thinking around this: “The basic tenant of rowing is we are stronger together.”
“When I came onto the staff at USRowing, this was on my list of all the things I wanted to do. As it happened, Cam had also made a list for a webinar series he wanted to do. And here we all are now with the perfect opportunity to do virtual stuff. So, we put the two lists together.
According to Chase, the series will continue six days a week and will have a set theme each of the days – like Masters Monday, Technique Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday, Fitness Friday and Services Saturday for Club Management.
The series got going March 17 with a single webinar by nutritionist Liz Fusco that was geared toward junior lightweight rowers and then kicked in with a full 48-session schedule last week. Each week for the next 12 weeks, USRowing will host a free webinar that will be run by some of the top coaches, nutritionists, and sports science experts in the rowing country.
Some weeks, the Friday and Saturday schedules will be flipped to accommodate longer webinars on Saturday when there is more time and back-to-back sessions can be run.
“For instance,” Chase said, “this Saturday we will have one session that will go over how to set a gym in your home using what you have on hand. That will be followed by a second part that will be about rowing specific lifts and how to do them correctly.”
Chase said both sessions are going to be run by rowing fitness expert and Rowing Stronger author Will Ruth.
“When Covid hit about a month ago, we wrote up a list of speakers. We have 48 sessions planned, and we have speakers confirmed for almost all of them. And for the ones we don’t have confirmed, we have speakers who have said they would speak if needed.
“So far, no one has declined, and the response has been awesome. Our hope is this is a way to make the bond of our community tighter and stronger give a lot of value to people.
All the webinars are free to USRowing members and can be accessed here. The sessions are taped and are also available in the same location.