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Mar, 2019

Collegiate Team Training

The Canisius College Women’s Rowing Team will travel from Buffalo, N.Y. to hold spring training at the Belmont Rowing Center this March. Thirty-three rowers and their coaches will spend the week in Gaston County practicing for their upcoming season.

“The Belmont Rowing Center and Belmont Riverside Marina have been very welcoming to our program,” says Kerri Brace, head coach of the Division I team. “Our student athletes are not only excited for a change in weather, but for the opportunity to focus on their sport, get back out on the water and kick off another great season.”

The team has secured housing at a local hotel and arranged to use the dining facilities at Belmont Abbey College. With two practices a day, the rowers will spend the majority of their time on the water or sleeping, but do plan to take a day and enjoy local attractions, like the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Mount Holly.

The Center is looking forward to their visit for a variety of reasons. “We have the opportunity to build a strong regional and nationally recognized rowing program in Belmont,” says Cindy White, avid rower and the Center’s President.

White’s enthusiasm for the future of the sport in Gaston County is shared. Peter Nixon, an adult rower with many years experience, including competitive high school and college, feels that the Center has found an ideal location. “The Catawba River in Belmont is really outstanding. The water is calm and we can row for miles.” Nixon explains. “But best of all, the climate here allows for on-water training almost all year long. It is an incredible competitive advantage!”

It is not only the water and weather that makes this area attractive to rowers. The Center recently completed the purchase of 13.6 acres of waterfront property in Belmont, part of which was donated by the Center to the City of Belmont for a municipal park. Early plans suggest it will include facilities for kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and rowing, with the remainder of the land used for the regional rowing center.

We are really excited to build this program and contribute to the Gaston County experience,” continued White. “While we are still in the permitting and fundraising phase for the new park, we currently offer a variety of programs for residents of all ages at Belmont Riverside Marina. Our Learn to Row, three day introductory course starts in the spring and we expect a great turnout.”

As for the Canisius College team, they’re looking forward to getting to North Carolina. “It feels great to get out on the water and start a new season,” stated Brace. “When your athletes are excited, you really get the best effort from them. We’re looking forward to our visit and some great practice days.”

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