Summertime is all about perfecting the stroke for varsity rowers, and Trent athletes are currently gearing up for wins on the world stage this season.
On July 24, Trent Excalibur rowers Grace VandenBroek and Spencer Kielar will look to build on their successful 2018/19 rowing seasons at the World Rowing U23 Championships as a part of Team Canada. Ms. VandenBroek, who will compete in the U23 women’s quad event, was named Canada’s junior female rower of the year last year, competed in the Youth Olympic Games, and won bronze at last year’s U23 World Championship in Poland.
Mr. Kielar, who was named to the U23 world’s team for the lightweight men's single event, won gold in the same event at the Ontario University Athletics’ (OUA) competition last year.
These achievements are credited in part to Carol Love, a former Olympian now considered Canada’s most heralded female coach, who has been a part of Trent’s rowing program for 40 years.
Ms. Love, who is head coach at Rowing Canada’s NextGen Hub at Trent, will lead Trent alumni Graham Peeters and Joshua King to the Pan-Am Games in Lima, Peru. The Pan-Am Games are the world’s third-largest multi-sport with more than 6,000 athletes from 41 countries.
Ms. Love was selected to coach Canada’s rowing team this year, and will reunite with Mr. Peeters and Mr. King as they compete in the double sculls event and double lightweight event, respectively.
Under the coaching direction of Ms. Love at Trent, Mr. Peeters won gold as a member of the men’s quadruple sculls in the U23 World Rowing Championship.
The Pan-Am Games take place Friday, July 26 to Sunday, August 11 in Lima, Peru.
When asked about the connection between athletics and academics at Trent, Ms. Love says that the University has become a unique place to develop athletes, thanks in part to its location and status. Trent is located on the banks of the Otonabee River and was selected as one of five universities in Canada designated as a NextGen Hub by Rowing Canada Aviron in 2017. Student sporting experiences often encourage a closeness with Trent alumni back to their alma mater.
While the summer schedule features high-level competition every year, 2019 presents athletes with special motivation.
“This is the year before the Olympic games,” notes Ms. Love. “A year where they are centralizing athletes, where they are going to qualify crews for the Olympics. It is a great environment for athletes to be training in.”