Hendrix boasts many different sports teams, and though most students have probably been to a few football or basketball games, many students are entirely unaware of the existence of the Rowing Club. That doesn’t stop them from being a dedicated and unique student organization.
Rowing really picked up during the fall semester this past year, with the club competing in its first regatta (boat) races. Senior Brady Rowe and Junior Michael Williams were a part of that team.
“My involvement with rowing began when Grahm Valadie told me about the club early last semester,” Williams said. “I was then trained as one of the club’s coxswains, and fell in love with the sport pretty much immediately,” he said.
Rowing is not like other sports in that there are essentially only two positions: a rower and a coxswain, which is a teammate in the front of the boat that yells out a cadence to keep the rowers on pace. This system requires a lot of time on the water, which is in short supply here at Hendrix. The team is forced to bounce back and forth from whatever water sources they can find, whether it be Beaver Fork Lake in Conway or the North Little Rock Boat House.
“Rowing Club has a ton of potential, and thanks to the generosity of Hendrix College, Alumni who are allowing us to use their land, and the North Little Rock Boathouse, we’ve been able to come quite a long way in just one semester,” Williams said.
Now the challenge for the rowing team is keeping its momentum going. It has some underclassmen hooked, including sophomore Claire Fleming.
“I started rowing in a one person boat crafted by a family friend during my last two summers between high school in Michigan,” Fleming said. “When I came to Hendrix and rowed on a four-person boat for the first time, I learned that rowing is a sport of teamwork and determination, more than it is one of sheer physical power.”
That determination and team spirit has led to some good early showings in competition.There is no doubt that Rowing is a fledgling club, but it has a lot of promise. Hendrix students gravitate to those who are passionate, and the Rowing Club has no shortage of passion.
Photo courtesy Hendrix Rowing Club