London 2012 Games inspires County Gazette reporter to take up rowing (From This is The West Country)
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London 2012 Games inspires County Gazette reporter to take up rowing
INSPIRE a generation – three words which ring out loud following this year’s London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Inspired by the hundreds of athletes who sacrificed so much and overcame adversity, I decided to learn a new sport and called Taunton Rowing Club hoping I could unearth a hidden talent that would see me compete for Team GB in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, in the 2016 Olympics.
Development officer and coach Ian Payne started me off in the ‘uncapsizable’ boats – not that I wanted to take any chances!
The first couple of sessions involved learning the basic technique – how to turn the boat and avoid plunging into the cold and murky River Tone.
On my second session everything seemed to click, even if it was only for a couple of strokes. I felt I was flying through the water and it was then I knew I was addicted.
I am not the only one inspired to take up a new sport. Ian said the club only used to get a handful of people to its Learn to Row courses but now it is inundated with requests to learn.
He said: “It has become a full-time job but it is great for rowing in the area.
“We have to capitalise on the Olympic and Paralympic legacy and lay the foundations for Rio in 2016 and beyond.
“Even though we are really busy you can’t start turning people away or have a long waiting list because people won’t give that sport a go and they lose their enthusiasm.”
After a number of sessions, I moved into the slimmer, more unstable boats – and will continue learning in the hope of one day getting to the Olympics.
- ANYONE who would like to give rowing a go can call Ian Payne on 07899-034381.