DAYTON — The second annual Try Rowing Olympic Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 25 at Eastwood MetroPark Lake, 1401 Harshman Road.
After a brief lesson about rowing, safety and boats used, participants will join experienced rowers and give the sport a try on the lake. On-site registration is required for the rowing portion of the event. On land, participants also can practice rowing on ergometers and learn about the difference between a sweep boat and a sculling boat, who a coxswain is, and why Dayton was selected as home for the nation’s first Community Olympic Development Program (CODP) for rowing. Members of the Dayton Boat Club and Greater Dayton Rowing Association will help youth and adults, regardless of skill level, try rowing.
Also at Try Rowing Olympic Day, participants can meet Olympian and head coach of women’s rowing at Indiana University, Steve Peterson, who will talk about what it’s like to be a professional athlete who’s participated in the games.
Peterson is a 2014 NCAA Division I national head coach and in his 14th year as a head coach of women’s rowing at Indiana University. Prior to Indiana University, Peterson was the head coach at George Washington University. A member of the 1996 Olympic team, Peterson was a seven-time U.S. national team member, and in 1990 won the World Championships in the lightweight double. He also was a coach for the U.S. national team from 1999 to 2003.
In fall 2007, Peterson was inducted into the U.S. Rowing Hall of Fame as a member of the 1990 U.S. National Team Lightweight Men’s Double Scull that won the World Championships in Tasmania, Australia. In addition to the U.S. Rowing Hall of Fame, Peterson’s success in the sport also has earned him a place in the University of Rhode Island’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
In addition to hearing from Peterson, participants can enjoy talking with local rowing organizations:
• 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ¬— Interact with rowing clubs and organizations
• 12:30 to 1 p.m. — Steve Peterson
• 1 to 3 p.m. — Interact with rowing clubs and organizations
For those who wish to grab a bite after a day of rowing, Urban Dayton BBQ food truck will be serving up delicious lunch options.
“The success of last year’s inaugural event speaks to the community’s excitement about this sport and a desire to connect with our rivers,” said Amy Dingle, director of outdoor connections for Five Rivers MetroParks. “Receiving the Community Olympic Development Program designation in July 2015 was a great compliment to the Dayton region’s status as the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest. It also offers Five Rivers MetroParks and its rowing partners additional opportunities to serve the community by connecting people to nature, our rivers and promoting healthy lifestyles.”
The event marks the second time Five Rivers MetroParks has participated in the national Olympic Day. The mission of Olympic Day, which commemorates the birth of the modern Olympic Games in 1894, is to promote fitness, well-being, culture and education, along with the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.
While this is a free, drop-in event, advanced registration is encouraged and available at metroparks.org/olympicday. Those who wish to row must sign up for a time slot at the event. Spots are limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants should bring socks and dress to get wet.
Eastwood MetroPark Lake will be closed to the public during the event.
About Five Rivers MetroParks
Celebrating more than 50 years of preserving green space and natural areas, Five Rivers MetroParks is a nationally renowned park system composed of natural area parks, gardens, high-quality river corridors, urban parks and a network of recreation trails. Five Rivers MetroParks protects the region’s natural heritage and provides outdoor experiences that inspire a personal connection with nature. Educational programs and recreational opportunities are offered year-round for all ages. Five Rivers MetroParks is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. To learn more about Five Rivers MetroParks, log onto www.metroparks.org or call 937-275-PARK (7275).
About Dayton Regional Rowing
Dayton Regional Rowing, the nation’s only Community Olympic Development Program for rowing, is a partnership between USRowing, Five Rivers MetroParks, the Dayton Boat Club and Greater Dayton Rowing Association. The United States Olympic Committee-designated Dayton Regional Rowing provides athletes new opportunities and enhances the Dayton region’s outdoor recreation offerings. The mission of Dayton Regional Rowing is to provide lifelong personal development and active lifestyles for Miami Valley youth through the sport of rowing. Dayton Regional Rowing collaborates with the USOC and USRowing to offer a community-based rowing program that helps athletes develop their performance, thus enhancing the Olympic sports feeder system in Dayton.