Brock alum elected president for Rowing Canada


A Brock alumnus has been named president of Rowing Canada. Carol Purcer graduated from Brock in 2007 with her M.Ed., and has been volunteering for the rowing team. She was named president of Rowing Canada on September 21, and will hold the position for a full four-year term, until 2021.

Rowing Canada is recognized by the Canadian government and the Canadian Olympic Committee as the national governing body for rowing in Canada. It is a non-for profit organization that represents over 15,000 members from all skill levels who participate in a variety of types of rowing, ranging from recreational to competitive.

Purcer’s career has included 20 years of experience holding a variety of positions in the rowing world. She has volunteered on several provincial and national committees, been a leader of the St. Catharines Rowing Club Recreational Rowing Board, and chaired multiple regattas. She was also a member of Rowing Canada’s Board of Directors for three years prior to being named their president.

Earlier this year, Purcer initiated a rowing program for at-risk youth in grades six to eight, in partnership with Brock University. Brock’s varsity athletes were invited to work with the youth in teaching them basic rowing skills and coach them in the sport. Purcer wanted to see rowing be a way for the youth to learn to work out and become engaged in extracurricular activities in order to help ease their transitions into high school.

Brock was also named one of five universities to be host sites for national rowing hubs. The other four sites are at Trent University, Western University, University of British Columbia and University of Victoria. The goal of these Rowing Canada NextGen hubs is for them to be a training ground for the up-and-coming rowers in Canada at the national level. The hubs will provide optimal training and coaching settings, including extensive performance planning and enhanced technical coaching capacity, as well as embedded sport medicine and sport science support.

The hubs are part of Rowing Canada’s NextGen Athlete Strategy, which focuses on enhanced training at a particular stage in an individual’s development as an athlete. This targeted stages of development includes Learning to Compete, Training to Compete, and Training to Win, all steps of the Athlete Development Pathway. Rowing Canada hopes that this strategy will enhance the training that athletes receive, and that athletes will experience even greater success because of it.

Purcer is honoured to be elected as president of Rowing Canada. Her goals as president are largely focused on increasing interest and involvement in the sport from all Canadians, young and old, beginners and experienced, recreational interest and competitive interest. She hopes to bring awareness to the sport and develop a wider involvement from Canadians.

Another goal of hers is to create a national coaching strategy for the sport. She hopes to finesse coaching across the nation to give skilled rowers the chance to become high performance athletes. She hopes to look at needs for the sport at the provincial level and try to tailor coaching strategies accordingly. Purcer does not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. She hopes to provide the best she can for each Canadian rower in order to help each athlete achieve his or her best in the sport.

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