Kingston Rowing Club celebrates 40 years

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV
Kingston Rowing Club celebrates 40 years
On a cool April morning, members of the Kingston Rowing Club are on the water before the sun is even up.
But early mornings don’t bother head coach John Armitage.
He’s spent the last 40 years waking up before dawn…. to coach the varsity rowers.

John Armitage- Coach, Kingston Rowing Club
“There was an ad in the paper saying, hey we want to start a rowing club we’re looking for people with experience, so I answered the ad. That was 41 years ago and here I am today.”
Since the club’s founding– Armitage has gone on to coach future gold medalists in championships like the Pan-Am Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.

John Armitage- Coach, Kingston Rowing Club
“In 1984 we had an athlete Mark Evans, win a gold medal in Canada’s Men’s eight at L.A. and his crew mate Doug Hamilton won Bronze. To the recent Olympics where Will Crothers, Rob Gibson and Nick Pratt comprised 25 percent of Canada’s Olympic team at Rio.”

And they all got their start right here on the Cataraqui River….. under Armitage’s guidance.
And there’s no sign the coach is slowing down.
He’s back on the water helping to groom what could be the next generation of elite rowers.
This summer a brand new program for youth is being launched.

Cassidy Dean -Camp Director
‘It’s kind of a start for the 40th anniversary here at the Kingston Rowing Club. It’s a program to get kids interested in rowing and hopefully pursue it later on in their life.”

‘Madsulls’ Summer camp is for kids 10 to 14. There’s also adult recreational rowing.
Having diverse membership is one of the things Armitage says he’s proud of accomplishing in the past 4 decades.

John Armitage- Coach, Kingston Rowing Club
“The broad scope of this sport in this community you know from youth rowing in grade 6, to adult rowing up seniors that are 71 years old.”

No matter your age or skill level, Armitage says the Rowing Club has a spot for anyone willing to give it a go.
Jonna Semple, CKWS News Kingston.


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