I am the Akela (leader) of the Colmworth Cubs and arranged for Community Rowing Coach Mark Bavington and his sidekick Ian Rowe to come along to do a rowing demonstration with our pack. This came about as my ‘second in command’ at Cubs is Daniel Lewis, owner of LWS Group which Ian had previously persuaded to sponsor the Star Club junior team (as we head into winter see more about LWS Group by clicking here)…….funnily enough I now find myself as a sponsor as well in the form of becoming the official photographer for the team! My day job is OliviaBea Photography which Ian found out and persuaded me that it made perfect sense to join the ‘Massive Deal’ team. (Please remember that when you want family portraits, portfolio pictures or even photographs of the family pooch!.) (click on the logo below for more info…..)
So, a couple of weeks ago Mark and Ian turned up at the Village Hall with two ‘ergos’ – which I soon learned are rowing machines – plus a couple of videos to show the pack what it is all about – one of the junior team ‘on tour’ from their Banyoles training camp and one of Ian capsizing in the Atlantic!
After our normal start of a team game Ian introduced himself and Mark and then showed us all what rowing is about – with great enthusiasm the pack quite clearly took on the idea of team work and pulling together plus the fun and excitement of competing! First off Daniel and I were ambushed into having a race with the pack having been split into Team Daniel, coached by Ian, and Team Nikki, coached by Mark as he explains, ‘We set the machines for a 100 metre dash and insisted that the kids cheer as loud as possible for their team leaders – Daniel might have had more power but Nikki had the far better form and technique and won by a handful of metres. The biggest loser though had to be mine and Ian’s eardrums as one of the things the kids could do really well was cheer and shout – incessantly!’
Next up was a relay race between my team and Daniel’s; each Cub jumped onto the machine for 20 seconds, loudly cheered by their team-mates, and it soon became clear it was going to be a very close fought race. Team Daniel edged ahead but a little bit of creative competition on my part saw my Cubs take a lead – this was followed by some equally creative competition from Team Daniel when Ian jumped on for a spell to even things up again. This clearly was the only reason why Team Daniel edged it at the finish line!
After splitting the groups again we had more relays on the rowing machines with Mark whilst Ian introduced the pack to the frustratingly fun and funny ‘Helium Sticks’ game – it’s not magic but it is infuriating even as an adult!
Lastly we watched a video from Ian’s Atlantic rowing adventure which showed us all another aspect of rowing – and being rescued at sea of course. The finale, if you could call it that, was at Daniel’s suggestion – another 100 metre race and this time between our visiting rowing experts; by now Daniel had learned the rowing starting instructions of ‘Attention…..GO!’
Away they went and after an intense 15 seconds the best team won….mine of course so well done’Bav’!
In the summer we are all really looking forward to a go in a rowing boat, be it on the river with Star Club or on a lake with Ian’s new Atlantic rowing boat. In the meantime a big thank you to Mark for running the session and giving our cubs a great introduction into an exciting sport that they otherwise would not get a chance to do in school.
NB: Nikki carried out some initial photography work for us at the Harpur Trust media event – click here for more.