Port Rowers Continue To Flourish In An Unprecedented Time

Reilly Katz (right) with coach Isa Abdur-Rahman after winning her race.
(Photos courtesy of Port Rowing)

BY SYDNEY ROSENTHAL

Nothing is stopping the Port Rowing team during quarantine. The team is continuing to practice from the comfort of their own homes. Port Rowing’s young athletes are even receiving personal feedback from their coaches on how to improve and what steps they can take to become even stronger during this difficult time.  

Each rower was given an erg and a set of workouts to complete. The workouts are to be completed daily and filmed in order for the coaches to provide them with accurate feedback. The athletes and coaches think the plethora of at-home exercises and workout sessions will give the team the opportunity to stay strong and prepare for next season. 

“We are making the most of a difficult situation,” high school girls head coach Isa Abdur-Rahman said. “By the use of modern technology available to each individual, we are able to make technological improvements, build skill and fitness and continue to provide an enriching experience for each athlete.”

The Port Rowing team is moving forward with their season in a unique way. Rowing is the only sport that is still in session in the region, and Port has the opportunity to provide each of its athletes with a personal erg and workout calendar. Completing virtual workouts are giving athletes the opportunity to strengthen their skills for the coming season. It gives them a light at the end of the tunnel, while also passing the time.

“While it was certainly difficult to start the season with the team together outdoors and then [being forced to] split up, we have still seen steady improvements in fitness over these first three weeks in quarantine,” high school boys head coach Mike MacMinn said. “It’s especially hard on the seniors. But overall, these kids have great attitudes, care quite a bit about staying accountable to each other, and continue to prioritize their personal athletic development. This is a team that loves to work hard and has a ton of fun doing it. We’ve come a long way since August, and we plan to be fully prepared when the next race opportunity presents itself.”

With online learning during the day and practices at night, these athletes are performing almost as if they are physically in the gym with their teammates. It allows the young rowers to stay on schedule and be kept motivated during a time where puzzles and baking is the only thing to do. 

“I think virtual crew will ultimately help us in the long run, especially for the eighth-grade team in preparing us for high school,” middle school rower Sydney Silverstein said. “For me, even just a few weeks of no crew in-between seasons hurt my skill, technique, and strength tremendously. Once we get used to online training, I hope I can gain my strength back and like it as much as a regular practice. I think this will be a great help in improving our skills and being ready for regattas when this is all over.” 

Visit www.portwashington-news.com for the full version of this story.

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