Rowing Clinic

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The Clinic’s are to educate and motivate talented and dedicated athletes to pursue college dreams

Hawaiian Waterman to College Grads via Rowing Opportunities

In Hawaii, we are blessed with awesome opportunities to enjoy the ocean and water sports year round, and consequently have the most amazing young watermen and women! The young chargers start with camps like the WYC Ikaika Waterman’s Academy, develop into great club and school outrigger and kayak paddlers, and are on a pathway to continue in college as rowers!

The first “Introduction to Rowing Clinic”, facilitated by Coach Shelley Oates-Wilding, was held over 2 Saturdays in June, as a means of offering guidance to high school athletes who want to follow in the footsteps of numerous other Hawaii athletes who have parlayed their experience in outriggers and kayaks into college acceptance and scholarships to crew at some of the most elite and well known mainland public and private universities! The Clinic’s are to educate and motivate talented and dedicated athletes to pursue college dreams and give them an edge on the process of what it takes to plan, develop and seek college funding by catching the eye of crew coaches, without ever having been in a rowing shell.

The Ikaika Waterman’s Rowing Clinic brought together Caryn Davies, three-time Olympic Medalist in the Women’s 8 (Gold-2012, 2008; Silver-2004), multiple time World Champion, and former rowing crew member at Harvard; Sarah Field, Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH) kayaking champ for Punahou, Outrigger Canoe Paddler, ’05 Stanford rowing graduate, Mid Pacific Institute (MPI) teacher and former ILH kayaking coach; Sarah Stoker, voted Most Valuable Player for Kayaking at MPI and was ILH Individual Distance Varsity Kayaking Champion (2012), numerous canoe paddling titles, and currently a member of UC Berkeley Bears rowing crew; Georgie Rowe, Silver Medalist at the recent Australian National championships, flat water kayaker to rower after posting a rowing machine score to get a full scholarship offer to Berkeley; and Kara Nystul, 1st Team ILH kayaker and paddler for Punahou and Outrigger, now headed to Boston College to row crew. Each shared with the participants their story, tips, techniques and pathways to college acceptance and rowing scholarships for great schools!  Other than Caryn, the rest had never placed a rowing oar in the water prior to their college crew offers, showing the value of the pathway from kayaking and paddling to rowing crew! “I couldn’t believe we had such world class athletes and those from all different pathways to rowing success here to show us the way. I was stoked to be chosen to be apart of it all and I’ve now started my search for the right school for my educational, arts and sporting dreams.” Rowing participant, Kai Wilding.

When Mac Hickox, USA Canoe Kayak National Sprint Development Director, spoke at an Ikaika Waterman’s gathering in January, he noted that while Hawaii kayakers and paddlers may not have experience in rowing crew, they are of interest to college crew coaches. The background in kayaking or paddling signifies that the prospective rower is in top athletic condition and has the discipline and drive to get up early, and get on the water or to the gym and train hard, so basically the coaches will only need to teach the technique needed for rowing crew.

“Through our Introduction to Rowing Clinic, we provide an amazing opportunity for our youth to see a new, exciting pathway to continue their enjoyment of the water, to train hard, and to seek acceptance and financial assistance for great educational opportunities,” stated Coach Shelley. 

For more information about future Rowing Clinics or the August Waterman’s Academies,

Shelleyoateswilding@gmail.com. 

By Coach Shelley Oates-Wilding

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