DURING the Christmas holiday, instead of taking time off to relax and enjoy the festivities, the Nassau Rowing Club will be busy entertaining the Sparks Rowing Camp for the second consecutive year.
The camp, scheduled for December 27-30, will be staged at the NRC’s headquarters at Oaks Hills Road, according to Kyle Chea, the president of the association.
Building on the success of the inaugural camp last year, Chea said coordinator Ryan Sparks will be bringing 24 American high school coxswains to hone their skills under the direction of coaches from Dartmouth, Cambridge and Boston University.
“This is proof-positive that rowing is developing into a solid pillar for sports tourism in The Bahamas,” Chea said.
Rowers and alumni from both the NRC and the Windsor School will be collaborating with the visitors during the camp when the sessions take place between 9-11am and 1-3pm on December 28-29, and from 9am to noon prior to the campers’ and staff departure on December 30.
Last year, an opportunity came up for Sparks Rowing to help with the acquisition of two shells - one for Nassau Rowing Club and one for Windsor School - such that they could hold an inaugural camp in December 2022.
“We were very pleased to still be able to successfully execute the camp in compliance with the increased restrictions around the COVID surge, and it was so popular Sparks was able to expand the offering,” Chea said.
“We’re very lucky to be able to work with the pre-eminent operator of rowing camps in the US, and arguably the world.
“It’s even better for our young Bahamian rowers who are helping to fill the boats as the coxswains hone their skills steering, commanding and strategising.”
Chea further noted that the coaches a brand like Sparks is able to attract is unmatched.
He revealed that this year, coaches from Boston University, Dartmouth and Cambridge are coming to provide a unique opportunity for the local rowers, who would have to spend thousands of dollars just to meet them separately.
“With our community rowing and public-school outreach focus, Nassau RC wants to bring as much of the rowing world to the island so that our rowers can expand their horizons and broaden their athletic and educational goals,” Chea stated.