Rowing is a great sport for those who love being on the water and there’s no requirement for sight when rowing in a coxed boat! And, like other sports, rowing has the potential to enhance an athlete’s quality of life by supporting independence and building confidence.
If you’re interested in rowing, consider using the ergometer at your local gym or finding an indoor rowing program in your community before getting out on the water. This will help you gain an understanding of the basics and build strength.
Though you may think upper body strength is dominant in the sport of rowing, for many, the legs are where you must have the most strength. Strong abdominal muscles are also important toward the end of each stroke. To learn how the stroke works and what exercises you should focus on to build strength, visiting the Rowing page on the Team USA Mobile Coach application for instructional videos and documents.
Once you have the basics and you’re interested in training to compete, consider attending the annual USABA Rowing Development Camp in Boston. We partner with Community Rowing, Inc. each year to coordinate a rowing camp in which experienced rowers can take their skills to the next level. The camp usually takes place around late May, early June.
When you’re ready to compete at the Paralympic level, you’ll need to be classified and meet standards to attend the USRowing Para Selection Camp hosted by USRowing Para National Team Coaches. It is here the coaches determine which athletes will make up the five boats the U.S. sends to World Championships and the Paralympic Games. Athletes with visual impairments can compete in four boats at World Championships – PR3 Mixed Four (PR3 Mix4+), PR 3 Mixed Double Sculls (PR3 Mix2x), PR3 Women’s Double (PR3 W2-) and PR3 Men’s Double (PR3 M2-) – and two of the five boats that go to the Paralympic Games – PR3 Mixed Four (PR3 Mix4+) and PR 3 Mixed Double Sculls (PR3 Mix2x). For more information on learning to row and working towards elite competition, check out the resources listed below.
Paralympic Rowing Resources
World Rowing: Getting Started
USRowing Adaptive Rowing website
USRowing Guide to Adaptive Rowing
USRowing Classification Information
Adaptive Rowing Programs in the U.S.
World Rowing: Para-Rowing page
Director of Para-Rowing, USRowing