Narelle Crawford and Kathryn Hurley at Tuesday’s Ladies Learn To Row Program

We all do it! Every New Year, we resolve to try a new activity, or make new friends OR get fit and lose some of that Christmas flab. It doesn’t have to be “OR.”

You can do all of these things in one go by going down to the Vanuatu Rowing Club’s Saturday morning Learn to Row Program.

The Rowing Shed is situated on the Lagoon below “The Holiday Inn” golf course. A big bonus is that this Learn to Row program from 7.30 to 9.30 every Saturday morning is free.

If Saturday doesn’t suit, then on Tuesday afternoons after work, there’s a Ladies Learn to Row session from 5 to 6.30pm – also free of charge.

“Our Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, Learn to Row participants are Ni-Vanuatu, international volunteers, corporate professionals or consultants from different countries – so it’s a multi language, multi-age, multi-country environment here,” explains Rio, the VRC Shed Manager. “We start each rower with 10 -15 minutes in the gym on our Spin Cycles and Concept Rowing machines to warm up, then out onto the water.”

“I just loved it! I couldn’t believe that on my first afternoon, I’d be out on the water rowing by myself!” commented Narelle Crawford who is part of the management team at Aon.

Aon is one of the Club’s generous sponsors, supporting equipment purchases and a rowing team made up of their staff – both men and women. The Aon team was the winner of the October Corporate Regatta.

The Club was set up in 2008 and currently has about 80 members. Membership is not expensive with annual fees for Ni-Vanuatu of 10,000 vatu payable in tranches if necessary, giving 6 days a week access to the Club’s gym, free coaching and the rowing equipment. The Club opens daily at 5am – the water on the Lagoon is calm then – and closes at 6.30pm. Sunday the Shed is closed.

A para rowing program means people living with disabilities the chance to become fit and participate in a sport that offers representational opportunities overseas. It’s a sport you can learn quickly.

How far you take rowing, what training you do – your commitment to improvement is up to you. Luigi Teilemb was only rowing for just over 2 years before he represented Vanuatu at the Olympic Games in Rio! The 2020 Tokyo Olympic is already being targeted by the Club with training squads for both the main Games and then the follow-on Para Olympics. The Club regularly sends teams to Australia and New Zealand to compete, gain experience and improve skills.

So what have you got to lose? Only kilos! Go on down this Saturday and activate that New Year’s Resolution.

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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