Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Young Manatee rowers pay close attention to London Olympians

By Nick Williams

Trish Jackson, the Manatee County Youth Rowing Program director, has been intensely keeping tabs on rowing events during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Charged with guiding and developing Manatee's young rowers at Fort Hamer Park in Parrish, the program's training site, Jackson has enjoyed studying Olympic competition.

"I've been very impressed from what I've seen," she said. "The (American) women's 8 was magnificent."

And she's not the only Manatee rower enthused by Olympic rowing. Since early July, Jackson has operated the county's Long Skinny Summer Boat Camp, a summer camp for youths entering 6th through high school seniors. At the camp, kids learn about rowing terminology, rowing on the water, cardio conditioning, and nutrition.

Jackson said the campers are also watching the events closely.

"It's great to see them paying attention," she said.

The camp is divided into three sessions. The final session began on Monday, Aug. 6, and ends Aug. 10, when a mini-regatta will be held at Fort Hamer Park. The regatta will begin at 11 a.m.

The camp runs Monday-Friday between 7:30 a.m.-noon. For more information on the camp, contact Trish at manateerowing@live.com.

By watching the Olympics, Jackson said the campers have come to appreciate the hard work it takes to be great.

"They learn about the sacrifices the athletes have made to get there," she said. "It's inspiring."   

In April, the Manatee youth rowing program made history at the Florida Scholastic Rowing Championships when four boats from Palmetto High qualified for the Scholastic Rowing National Championships in Camden, N.J.

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