The STA Girls’ Rowing Club: A Not-So-New Sport at STA
By Alicia Longo
Crew, or rowing, has been a club sport at STA since 2018. It is an all girls club/team that welcomes girls from any grade level at STA as walk ons with no previous experience. The club provides two summer camp sessions in June and August for girls to get a sense of the sport and learn how to row. The team’s season is Fall through Spring, with short breaks around the holidays. For Novice rowers (Freshman or First Year rowers), practice is five days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 4 pm to 6:30 pm, and Saturday, from 8 am to 11 am. For Varsity rowers, practice is six days a week with the same schedule besides Thursday off.
Rowing has been an Olympic Sport since the Summer Olympics of 1900, but has been a recreational activity and sport many centuries before its debut in the Olympics. Rowing is an extremely competitive sport, even at the high school level. Several teams from all over the state, country, and region come to compete at regattas here in Florida. Sienna Wells, a rower from the team, says, “I love rowing more than anything. It’s where I am working hard with my favorite people. No one really understands or respects the sport until they try it, and that’s when they realize how great it is. I found my best friends with this sport, and knowing that we are all putting every ounce of ourselves into every practice brings you closer together.” The rowing team has earned several state and regional medals over the years, but this year the U17 8+ placed 1st in the Southeast Region, a new record for the team. Kathleen Wojtas, the Head Coach of the team, says, “Our goals are to build confidence and character in girls through the values Rowing fosters – teamwork, accountability, resiliency, a strong work ethic and a healthy lifestyle. Through this process, we hope to be a team that is competitive on the State, Regional and National levels.”