The first ever TDSB Indoor Rowing Challenge was recently held at Fern Avenue Public School. The competitive event was a product of true sportsmanship collaboration between Fern Avenue, Jackman and Lynngate public schools as well as the Hanlan Boat Club and the University of Toronto.
For the past few years, both Jackman and Lynngate have participated in the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships at the Hersey Centre. This year, the schools decided to start their own TDSB event. With the networking of Row Ontario, Nick Matthews, President of the Hanlan Boat Club, stepped up to assist the schools in launching the TDSB Indoor Rowing Challenge by connecting the two schools with Fern Ave PS where Principal Szonyi also has a passion for rowing. The three schools joined forces to make the event happen and hope to expand it for next year. A highlight was having University of Toronto Varsity Coach Iain Wilson attend with his Varsity Athletes to assist in time keeping and share rowing tips and demos to participants.
All 75 students were very excited and inspired to participate in this inaugural TDSB sports competition. Besides the 24 medalists (Gold, Silver and Bronze) in aged and gender categories from grade 3 to 6, many competitors performed their personal best in the 500 meter race. Indoor rowing requires both discipline and stamina – it is also extremely beneficial to mental health and well-being.
All competitors are to be congratulated for their exemplary efforts. Thank you to the school coaches Eric Szonyi, Anna-Marie Haffner and Diane Kriksciunas for their commitment to the promotion of indoor rowing for elementary students.