Guelph Lake was the site of the summer training camp for Rowing Canada’s men’s national team from July 24 to Aug. 14.
Head coach Martin McElroy said Guelph Lake was a good option for the camp because it’s an enclosed body of water, something that’s difficult to come by.
“It’s worked really well,” McElroy said. “The (Guelph Rowing) club has been incredibly supportive, the university (of Guelph) has been pretty awesome.”
While the team usually trains in Victoria, B.C., McElroy said the team was looking for a location to train immediately before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next summer.
And Guelph Lake is ideally situated.
“It’s within an hour (time difference) of Rio,” he explained. “There’s only one hour difference.”
Usually it takes a day to adjust per hour of time change but because there aren’t many training venues in Rio, McElroy said the team will stay in Canada until 10 days before the games.
“We’ll just go straight down to Rio to where the actual racing course is, then within a week be racing,” he explained.
McElroy also said the lake conditions are similar to those the rowers will face next summer.
“It’s actually pretty realistic,” he said. “The way the wind is tending to come here will be pretty much the same type of direction that we’ll get in Rio, so that’s a good simulation as well.”
The team is now preparing in Europe to compete in the world championships Olympic qualifying regatta in France beginning Aug. 30.
McElroy said the team will likely return to Guelph Lake to prepare for the Olympics.
Hosting the national team practice has also benefited the Guelph Rowing Club, whose home base is on Guelph Lake.
“It’s our hope that having them here will help bring more visability to the club and to rowing in the community, both within the city and within the township,” said club member Fiona McCrea.
Having Team Canada train at the club gives the members a unique opprotunity.
“The average person and or aspiring young athlete can have access to seeing these athletes and these coaches and talking to them about their experiencce and their training and everything more readily than most other Sports can,” McCrea said.