Brock Rowing invites students to celebrate at OUA Championships

Brock Rowing in action / The Brock Press


This past Saturday, Brock Rowing took part in the Brock Invitational ahead of the OUA Championship. The Badgers came out and put on strong performances, as they captured 14 medals in total. Brock captured four gold medals, thanks to nearly world record times from Matt Finley (Heavyweight Men 1x) and Taylor Ashwood (Lightweight Men 1x) as well as strong performances from Luke Gadson and Ryan Malcowski (Men’s 2-). Finley, Gadson, Malcowski, Mackenzie Boyes, Jacob Thomas, Iain Pierce, Nick Heffernan, Alex Rogers and Zak Lewis captured gold in the Men’s Heavyweight 8x.

The OUA Rowing Championship will take place on October 29 on Henley Island in St. Catharines. The event is scheduled to run from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. As the excitement grows for the athletes participating in the event, there is plenty to look forward to after the event as well.

When the regatta ends, Brock students, alumni and friends of rowing are invited to gather for a free barbecue. Students are welcome to attend the event, as well as the barbecue but they are asked to email and RSVP.

The Badger Bash Alumni Reunion will continue after the barbecue with a ceremonial boat christening. This year, the Badgers will be christening five brand new boats, meaning they will be naming the boats following a specific tradition.

Of the five new boats, one of them is a coxed four boat, and the rest are pairs boats. In the past, the fours boats have been named after an individual that has done well in any field that they endeavoured. For example, the current fours boats are named after athletic success stories like Laura Adams, and also after individuals such as David Howes who has had a huge impact on the Brock community.

This year, the fours boat will be named after Robert Jennings. Jennings is one of the original Badgers, as he was part of the very first graduating class at Brock. After attending Brock, Jennings went on to start his own finance company, Jennings Finance, that had great success. Jennings now resides in Calgary, Alberta where he was involved in the Calgary Winter Olympics back in 1988.

For the pairs boats, each boat will be named after a certain individual that has been a part of Brock Rowing in a way. The Wise Guys Charity donated $30,000 to Brock Rowing last year, which is approximately the price of two pairs boats. Brock head coach Peter Somerwil gave the Wise Guys Charity a chance to name a boat after someone who had an impact on their organization. They have decided to name the first pairs boat after Chuck Smith, who was one of the original Wise Guys that began the charity that has raised over two million dollars to support local projects.

The next boat will be named after Sue Erskine. Erskine has been a part of the rowing community for many decades, including holding executive positions in the St. Catharines Rowing Club, the Canadian Henley Rowing Corporation and the St. Catharines World Rowing.

The last two pairs boats will be named after two individuals that were a part of the first ever Brock Rowing team back in 1964. Stan Lapinski and Bob Crawford have both influenced Brock Rowing in different ways since graduating. Lapinski started Gold
Medal Photos, where according to his website, he has taken over ten thousand photos of rowing medalists. He is now the official photographer for the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association and the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. Lapinski also put together several celebration books, including Brock University Athletics: 40 Exciting Seasons of Generals and Badgers. Crawford has continued his participation with Brock Rowing, as he is part of the crew that does work at the Henley Regatta every week including the installation of the course and the maintenance of the buoys and starting gates.

Lastly, at the event Brock will recognize each of the 14 Brock alumni that have represented Canada in past Olympics.. Many of the Olympians will be travelling from all over Canada to take part in the celebrations at this years Badger Bash Alumni Reunion. The Brock community is encouraged to come celebrate all the special events that will be taking place that day.

Brock Rowing is inviting students to the Leo LeBlanc Rowing Centre on Oct. 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a free open house. Students will now have access to the rowing facility as the varsity athletes will be moving to a new high-performance training centre. The rowing facility consists of a full weight room, spinning bikes, and the rowing ergs and tank. Students will be offered a one day only special, where they can purchase a membership at the Walker Complex Welcome Desk for only $25.00 for the remainder of 2016.

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