Rowing is an ideal sport for the visually impaired because only the coxswain needs to see where the boat is going and it is one of the few team sports where both sighted and sight-impaired athletes can compete on the same team. Volunteers helped BRC teach blind and visually impaired teenagers and veterans how to row.
For the past three summers, Belmont Rowing Center has spent 4 days in July working with visually impaired youth from Camp Abilities at Camp Dogwood in Sherrills Ford. This year’s effort lead by Director Anne Turner and Coach Geoff Marsh, along with 16 volunteers from the youth and masters program, was a huge success. After spending the first session on the ergs, the 12 campers spent three days on the water in an 8+ (sweep boat) and a quad (sculling boat). Four of the kids learned how to sweep row last year at this camp, so it was perfect opportunity to introduce them to sculling in the quad this time. It was exciting to see all of the camp rowers take to this sport so quickly; they loved every minute out on the water.
Brock Sampson coached all of the on-water sessions for teens and veterans. Brock comes to BRC from Austin, TX where he was an Adaptive and Wounded Warrior Coach with Texas Rowing For All.