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G-ROW Boston: You Row, Girls!

G-ROW Boston:
You Row, Girls!

Who are the G-ROW girls?
What is G-ROW Boston?

When you think of the sport of rowing...OK, you never think of rowing. But if you did, do preppie guys at Harvard and Yale in the old days come to mind? Well, get ready to toss that stereotype out the window. Meet some girls who you'd never expect to find on a crew, and hear about how the sport has affected their lives. back to top

Who are the G-ROW girls?
Under the leadership and vision of Olympic gold medalist Holly Metcalf, G-ROW Boston provides girls with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to learn to row and compete on the Charles River in Boston. Meet three of the G-ROW girls:

Lindsay is a coxswain (pronounced cox'n) for the G-ROW program. She's 16, and just started her junior year at O'Bryant High School in Boston. The coxswain's job is to steer the boat, call the drills during practice, and provide motivation during races. It's tough to steer a big boat with 8 strong girls in it under normal circumstances, but during a race it can get particularly hairy. At last year's Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Lindsay had to stop the boat to avoid a collision with another boat. Safety first is the coxswain's motto—no matter what.

Although Lindsay does not row, she works out with the team just like any other team member. She especially likes the people and the workout you get. She says it's just fun to be around everyone on the team. Lindsay got involved with rowing the way many girls do—through a friend who encouraged her to try it. She says, "At first you'll think rowing is kind of weird. But after you try it out you'll end up really liking it."

Victoria started rowing in the 7th grade, thanks to a friend. She went to a practice and just couldn't get enough rowing. Victoria rows starboard, which means her oar is on her left. She is 15 and is also a junior at O'Bryant High in Boston. Victoria loves being out on the water and competing. She thinks people can sometimes take the fun out of rowing by making a big deal out of things like "erg tests." These are tests done on rowing machines to assess your fitness level. The erg test measures your strength and speed. She says most rowers dread them.

Victoria says rowing is physically different from any other sport she's been involved in and that it gives her a chance to appreciate nature a little more!

Victoria, like Lindsay, was part of the G-ROW crew that raced in the Head of the Charles Regatta in 1999. A lot of the girls had been together for a few years before the race and had been working very hard to train for it. Victoria says, "It was fun to be part of a really big regatta and see all the people rowing." And she sums up her rowing experience this way: "Rowing is like life because there's a lot you have to do to meet your goals. You have to work hard and go to practice, eat lunch and dinner, and take your tests and do well. You have to take care of yourself."

Victoria encourages other girls to try rowing. "Anyone should try to row. Especially if you come from other sports; it's different because of the coaching and being out on the water, and even if you don't stick with it, you should try it." Victoria is interested in water and the study of water, and she also likes to write.

Nour, age 16, and also a starboard, started rowing last year when a friend who was on the team asked her to come try it. Nour likes working with her crew as a team. She says, "Rowing helps you meet new friends and gives you a chance to really get to know them." Rowing has boosted Nour's confidence in talking with other people more than she used to. She doesn't like the pressure of racing but still enjoys the team experience.

Nour says rowing "is peaceful and nice and you see everything." She adds that "you have to work together even if you don't like someone on the team. You can't ignore them, have to work with them."

Nour also encourages girls to try rowing. She thinks it's best to "try lots of other things. You might like it, and you don't know 'til you try it." Nour wants to be a surgeon. back to top

What is G-ROW Boston?
G-ROW Boston is an ambitious rowing and relationship-building program for girls in the Boston public schools. G-ROW builds girls' strength and confidence, and also aims to diversify the traditionally exclusive sport of rowing. The program is jointly run by two of Boston's premier rowing organizations, Community Rowing, Inc., and Row As One Institute.

Under the leadership and vision of Olympic gold medalist Holly Metcalf, G-ROW Boston provides girls with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to learn to row and compete on the Charles River in Boston. The girls practice three days a week throughout the school year to develop new skills. This includes on-water rowing and racing, weight and erg training, boat maintenance, swimming, and developing leadership skills. In addition to superior coaching, the program provides mentors and encourages journal writing as a way for girls to relate their new experiences to their lives outside of school and rowing. back to top

Last Modified Date: 2/21/2001
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