This summer, you may have seen some of Aviron Knowlton Rowing Club’s (AKR) 55 club rowers on the lake near the Marina. But you will not have seen three of AKR’s high-performance rowers.
They have been elsewhere rowing for Canada. On July 15, Gabby Smith, aged 23, finished second in the World Cup-3 Women’s double sculls in Lucerne, Switzerland. She then moved to Victoria, BC, and in mid- August she was selected to row for Canada in the World Championships that are being held in September in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Gabby also manages the AKR club programs back in Knowlton.
On July 25, Marilou Duvernay Tardif, who coaches AKR’s club rowers, came 5th in the women’s quad event in the Under 23 World Championships in Poznan, Poland. She will compete, in late August, in the Under 21 TransTasman Regatta on Lake Karapiro, New Zealand.
In mid-August, Anna Burnotte, aged 18, who also coaches AKR’s club rowers, competed in the women’s quad in the Racice, Czech Republic. Rowing at stroke, Anna’s boat reached the A final and came 6th. Earlier this summer, she trained in Halifax before being selected to join the National Training Camp in Victoria.
“Locating the club in Knowlton has been an important factor in the success of these athletes,” said Gavin McKay, their coach. “The tight- knit community has helped them find jobs, places to live and offered them strong social support. The compact size of Knowlton also helps the time and money-stretched young athletes. The lake, the gym, home and work are all minutes away on a bike.”
“AKR was started in Knowlton only three years ago. Coach Gavin McKay’s intention was to put Knowlton on the world rowing map. In the High- Performance area, he has already succeeded,” commented Karol Sauvé from Rowing Quebec.
With permission from the Town of Brome Lake, AKR’s High-Performance Rowing operates from Douglass Beach. AKR’s Club-Rowing operates from the Knowlton Marina. Club Rowing is recreational and includes rowers of all ages and abilities. Some are over 70 and some are as young as 7.