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District 205 Adds Rowing As A Varsity Sport

May 10,2017 18:10

The sport of rowing runs from May through October. Students practice at 5:30 a.m. before school when school is in session. They will practice and compete on the Rock River. They'll face primarily teams from St. Charles and from the Chicago suburbs.



ROCKFORD - In recent years Rockford School District 205 has added figure skating, hockey and gymnastics as varsity sports that students can letter in. Now it's adding rowing.
The District has formed a partnership with the YMCA's Rowing Crew Club to oversee the program. Students who participate on the Y's Junior Rowing Crew will be eligible to receive varsity letters.
The sport of rowing runs from May through October. Students practice at 5:30 a.m. before school when school is in session. They will practice and compete on the Rock River. They'll face primarily teams from St. Charles and from the Chicago suburbs.
District 205 Director of Athletics Mat Parker says it's good to offer students more options and to recognize those who participate.
"We want to provide the most opportunities and the best opportunities for all of our students while they're with us," says Parker. "Instead of limiting participation the position we decided to take was we're going to support these kids. We're going to support their families. The YMCA completely oversees the program. Our job is support the academic piece and then basically we get to brag about our students."
"We had 28 kids last summer that came down for this sport, so we're hoping to double that," says YMCA Rowing Director Jane Johnson. "I think with getting them and them being able to get a letter in this and with their practices at 5:30 a.m. it shows some dedication too."
The head coach of the rowing team is Kelly Maffei. She's a 2009 graduate of Hononegah. She raced competitively as both a coxswain and a rower for Marquette University Crew. Maffei has competed in regattas across the country.
Students who are interested in participating Johnson at janejohnson@rockriverymca.org. 

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