New Trent Community Sport & Recreation Centre to House North America’s Most Advanced Indoor Combination Rowing/Paddling Tank


State-of-the-art tank to be used by rowers and dragon boaters one of several key features of new community athletics centre at Trent University, opening fall 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010, Peterborough

Rowers, dragon boaters and paddlers at both the competitive and recreational level will soon have a place to train and practice year-round in Peterborough, thanks to the construction of North America’s most advanced indoor combination rowing/paddling tank within the Trent Community Sport & Recreation Centre at Trent University.

“With its state-of-the-art features and innovative design, this rowing/paddling tank could be considered the only one of its kind in the world,” says Bill Byrick, director of Athletics at Trent University. “The indoor tank will solidify Trent’s position as a regional centre for rowing and paddling excellence and will serve as a premier training facility for both elite athletes and community members.”

In addition to having the capacity to transform seamlessly from rowing to paddling, the Trent tank also solves a common problem experienced with most indoor training tanks – an innovative trough design around three sides of the tank keeps surface waves from building up and interfering with the next stroke of the paddles or oars. The tank is designed by Steve Killing, a civil engineer and yacht designer from Midland, Ontario.

For the rowing community, the tank will enable eight rowers to either sweep row (one large oar) or scull (two small oars). From a competitive rowing perspective, the tank will be invaluable, allowing athletes to row at “race rate,” another unique feature of this indoor facility. The tank set-up also allows for coaches to stand close to the participants dramatically increasing the learning time, providing an ideal training environment for all skills levels, from the beginner to the elite athlete. Mirrors on the side of the room will also allow rowers to study and develop their stroke. As a state-of-the-art and distinctive year-round training facility, the tank will serve to attract athletes, competitors and coaches from across the country and from around the world.  “This is very exciting for rowing in Peterborough,” Carol Love, gold medal Olympian and coach of the Peterborough Rowing Club and Trent Varsity team, says about the tank. “It is validation for the success of the Trent and community rowing programs. Our rowing teams are competitive at the national level and this tank will provide an invaluable opportunity to train year round.”

In addition to the impact on rowing programs, the tank will have further benefit for the community thanks to its capacity to equip up to 32 dragon boat paddlers. This groundbreaking facility will enable teams to remain together, training, socializing, staying fit and having fun year-round. Thanks to the ever-growing dragon boat market of adults who enjoy paddling and competing at a social or competitive level, and Peterborough’s role as host community for the 2010 International Dragon Boat Festival, the paddling component of the tank is sure to be well-used and enjoyed by the entire community.

“I am so excited that this tank is being built and will be ready for operation this fall,” says Joan Bates, a Trent alumna, president of Survivors Abreast, and co-chair of the steering committee for the 2010 International Dragon Boat Festival which Survivors Abreast is hosting in Peterborough June 11 to 13. “Our team has so little practice time on the water before our annual June festival. Most years the water is so high and fast they won't allow us out until the end of May. This puts us at quite a disadvantage against other teams. So I am most excited that we can now practice year round. The news of this amazing facility is certainly something to brag about to the international teams. Many teams, Australia, South Africa, Florida, Singapore, get to practice year round. This facility will certainly put us on a more even playing field for future international events.”

John Gullick, chair of the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival committee for the past seven years, adds: “It is exciting to have a state-of-the-art practice facility in our own community. The International Festival and the Annual Community Festival serve in part to raise awareness about dragon boating and in particular its relevance to survivors of breast cancer. This new tank means that paddlers will be able to practice year round. Hopefully it will also mean that a community dragon boating club can develop.”

Slated for opening in the fall of 2010, the Trent Community Sport & Recreation Centre will offer the community a full-spectrum of indoor and outdoor athletics and recreation experiences unparalleled anywhere in the region. As the only athletics and recreation facility in the growing north end of the City of Peterborough, the centre will provide vital wellness services to all residents, including seniors and older adults, children, youth-at-risk, persons with disabilities, and the local workforce. In addition to the indoor rowing/paddling tank, other unique and innovative features of the Centre include: the highest indoor climbing facility in the region, 12,000 sq. ft. cardio loft and weight room, warm therapy pool, expanded therapy clinic, and a complete makeover of the pool.

Supporting the renewal and expansion of the Trent Community Sport & Recreation Centre is the $4 million Sport, Recreation & Wellness for All Campaign. This campaign is part of a $16 million Board of Governors-approved plan for new construction and refurbishment at the University. For more information about the campaign and the Trent Community Sport & Recreation Centre, visit 


For more information about the rowing/paddling tank, please contact:
Bill Byrick, Athletics Director, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x1252

For more information about Trent University’s Athletics Campaign, please contact:
Dianne Lister, Vice President, External Relations & Advancement, and Campaign Director, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7207