Inspired by two years of experience for elite rowers on Brome Lake, a new local rowing club, Rowing Knowlton, has been formed. The intent of the club is to support rowers, of all ages and abilities, by offering safe access to the lake, access to boats, equipment, coaching and insurance.
“Brome Lake has proved itself to be one of the best lakes for rowing in Quebec,” said Gavin Mckay, local resident and elite coach in the “Row to Podium – Québec” program. “This positive experience has meant that the Quebec Rowing Association has decided to move its home-base for its elite training program, “Row to Podium”, from the Olympic Basin in Montreal to Knowlton.
“It’s not just the lake that makes Knowlton so special but also the support of the community,” Mckay added. “This support is evidenced by how many families have opened their homes to the rowers and also by the training support of the Marina, Knowlton Academy and by Athletica Gym. The Town of Brome Lake has been very supportive and has made Douglass Beach an access point for the club.”
“The success of elite rowing on our lake,” added Gaëtan Gélinas, a founder, “has inspired us to start a club that can offer the rowing experience to the wider public.”
“Rowing on Brome Lake is an enjoyable exercise for older people and also for the young. It certainly keeps me young and fit,” said Sally Kininmonth, another founder. “My granddaughter, Thea, and I are both rowing this summer. Anyone can gain pleasure and get fit by rowing.”
“Lake communities are finding that supporting rowing can bring many economic and social benefits.,” said Owen Falquero, a founder. “Our wonderful lake and town are only an hour from Montreal, giving Brome Lake the potential to become an important centre for the sport.”
“The elite program began with a handful of rowers operating out of a private home. Starting so modestly has led to their success today,” says William Abbott, treasurer. “So, for the Club, 2017 will be a modest trial year where we learn enough to finance more equipment. Our future focus will be on youth and our pricing will be affordable.”