One year ago we made the announcement that USFSM’s inaugural Rowing Team would be formed. A year later we have 22 rowers with 9 actively participating this semester. As the first competitive club sport on campus, this team is competing at the level of an NCAA varsity program and train appropriately.
We have partnered with Sarasota Crew, one of the top rowing programs in the country. Currently, they provide our coach, Liza Dickson, who has over 25 years of coaching experience at the club and University levels. Sarasota Crew also provides boats and equipment.
The Team is holding practices five times a week during the fall and spring semesters, and will be racing four times in the fall and five times in the spring against both varsity and club crew teams all along the eastern seaboard. The team competed in November at the 2nd largest Regatta in USA; men’s 8 placed 28th of 39 teams and women’s 4 placed 20th of 34 teams.
As a club, Rowing receives funding from SGA, but it is largely dependent on fundraising. The team has received significant support from the SRQ Airport and Benderson Development.
Rowing is open to all individuals who meet the university’s eligibility requirements for participation. A majority of our rowers had no experience with crew prior to rowing at USFSM. To row, all students need is a competitive spirit, some athletic ability and the will to succeed.
There is significant recruitment potential in Rowing as Florida has the 6th largest population of high school rowers, Sarasota is home to two elite youth programs – Sarasota Crew and Sarasota Scullers, and South East High School, Palmetto High School and other local public and private schools have started programs and train at Fort Hamer.
Mark your calendars for these upcoming Rowing events:
Fira College Championships April 13th and 14th at Nathan Benderson Park (NBP). The team will compete as a guest against schools such as Florida, Florida State, and Stetson.
Creaky Bones 5k and Sarasota Dragon Boat Race will be held on October 20th, also at NBP. More details to follow!