Being an athlete comes with both positive and negative consequences. Most sports only last for one season, causing an athlete to get “out of shape” and lose their motivation during the off-season. Practice and determination can help an athlete stay on task and set new goals for the upcoming season in order to improve their skills and help their team to victory. However, Friends of Port Rowing, offers year-round options to ensure that their athletes are ready to compete when the time comes.
Over the years, Port Rowing has become the largest rowing program on Long Island. It is a community-based program that allows athletes from other towns to participate and learn the love of the sport. The Port Rowing community has developed immensely, and they have built their own boat house and now continuously row out of Bar Beach.
The diverse background that Port Rowing has to offer helps athletes have the ability to get a chance at competing in the sport of rowing and have an after-school activity they have passion for. More than 15 schools are represented and no student athlete is turned away, creating a program where all are welcome and accepted.
“I do it for the love of the game and love of the sport, not for the money. The Port Rowing community has changed other people’s lives and creates a great deal of joy and satisfaction that you are making a difference in someone else’s life,” said President Mitch Tampkin, who helped found the community-based program along with Monika Dorman, and is still heavily involved with the program.
Port Rowing offers summer training camps for all ages, ranging from ages 13 to 19. It is a way for new young athletes to strengthen their skills or learn about the art of rowing, possibly for the first time as an eligible athlete. It is an opportunity for these athletes to see if they have developed a new passion for a unique sport. Each athlete who shows interest in the sport is guaranteed a spot on the roster to encourage all that each individual is capable.
“I participated in the Port Rowing summer training camp last summer and it was a great way for me and the rest of my boat to stay in shape for the fall season so that we were ready to race,” said Carter Shields, who will be rowing at the University of Virginia (UVA) in the fall. “It was also really fun to row with the girls that were new to the team, as we all became really close. I am looking forward to rowing with Port Rowing again this summer to be ready for my upcoming season at UVA.”
The summer programs are designed to help athletes gain a sense of the true competition the sport has to offer and greater develop one’s skills. The high school training camp is broken down into three sessions with trips to Philadelphia and New Jersey for regattas.
Similarly, the middle school training camp is broken down into three sessions, yet they do not compete in any summer regattas. The middle school training camp is programmed to teach young athletes the techniques of rowing and gain knowledge about how the sport is played. It is geared toward athletes who are interested in the sport, yet do not know much about it. It is a transitional camp where athletes will learn the sport first on land and then move on to the water in order to ensure that the athletes are safe and knowledgeable about the boat and the sport.
“I was inspired to join Port Rowing since I loved kayaking and my neighbor, Monika Dorman, a founder of Friends of Port Rowing, told me that I had to try rowing because I would be so engaged and love the sport immediately. She was right and I have even decided to continue this sport in college because of the bond that binds the girls on the team and the idea of challenging myself both mentally and physically,” said senior Bailey Lipset, who will be rowing at Lehigh University in the fall.
Aside from the traditional summer training camps, Port Rowing officially introduced their new program for adults. The program offers an adult master’s team for older athletes who want to learn about rowing and stay in shape. As one gets older, it is hard to find time to exercise, but studies have shown that finding a sport or activity that keeps you active for at least 30 minutes a day is beneficial to one’s health. The Port Rowing adult program is a way to gain more support for the program and sport in general, as well as encourage older athletes to find a passion that will keep them exercising and healthy.
Port Rowing is a program that was introduced in 2010 and is continuing to grow. It is not only a sports team, but a community that creates bonds that will last and stay with the athletes for years to come. Many athletes that join Port Rowing are continuing their techniques in college and sharing their knowledge with others. This past season, the team has made it to the national championships and the girls finished second in the nation and the boys a close fifth. There is still time to sign up for the summer program, so, if interested, visit www.portrowing.com
Sydney Rosenthal is a contributing writer at Anton Media Group.