Nothing Stops This Team

Rowers Take a Virtual Trip to the Bahamas During Lockdown

JUNO BEACH – More than a dozen members of the North Palm Beach Rowing Club plan to make the lengthy trip from Bert Winters Park to the Bahamas from the comfort of their own homes.

As part of a virtual trip to the Bahamas designed by club staff, 18 middle school rowers are walking, biking, jogging, swimming and rowing their way toward Nassau, which is the trip’s end point.

The trip, which began April 8 and will include virtual stops in Miami, Marsh Harbor, Abaco Club, Glass Window Bridge and Atlantis Bahamas, was created by NPBRC coaches in an effort to teach students about the fundamentals of rowing and help them remain active and fit amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The club’s youth rowing programs were temporarily suspended March 15, while all other programs followed a week later.

“We wanted the virtual trip to help our middle school rowers, while at home, continue to remain active and fit while focusing on responsibility, teamwork and excellence — the qualities that will help them become well- rounded athletes,” said Kae Webber, NPBRC’s middle school coach.

Before the start of the trip, middle school rowers were asked to build a miniature rowing shell no longer than one foot long from materials they found at home.

They also were given 11 workouts that included a warm-up, varied race paces and rest.

The workouts equated to achieving “nautical units,” NPBRC Director Nancy Colaguori said. Every 25 minutes of exercise equaled 1 nautical unit. The trip will total 21 nautical units.

Miami – the first stop – totaled 5 nautical units.

Workouts could be completed on indoor rowing equipment, or any sports activity such as running, jogging, bicycle riding, or swimming.

In addition, as part of good sportsmanship, rowers were asked to perform acts of kindness and help with home chores.

Three students wrote letters to residents of a nursing home in their communities, Colaguori said.

The trip will end when the rowers reach their final destination at Nassau, Colaguori said. All participants will be awarded medals for completing the trip, which has been a big hit with student rowers.

“I love the virtual workout, because it gives me a fun goal to work on instead of just running and rowing for fitness,” said Cacki Pearsall, a Benjamin School student. “It feels like I’m actually going somewhere, but I really miss my crew.”

“Being quarantined hasn’t been so bad, because I’ve had time to bounce on my trampoline and do the virtual trip,” added Jason Childers, a Jupiter Middle School student.

The club will resume in-person rowing activities once it is safe to do so, Colaguori said.

Reprinted with permission from the Palm Beach Post