RowAmerica Hamilton has offerings for all ages, abilities in 2016

Joy Nix, RowAmerica Hamilton’s Director of Rowing, sees a bright future for the entire rowing program, including its partnership with U.S. Paralympics that was announced last summer. She sat down with the Journal-News to discuss what’s next for RowAmerica Hamilton.

Q: What is on your wish list for 2016?

A: My top wish is that people within an hour’s drive of Hamilton would know that RowAmerica Hamilton exists as their Community Rowing Club. The purpose of the club is to engage people young and old, and of all ability levels in health, fitness or competition rowing and paddling opportunities.

Many people in the region are not aware of the water recreation opportunities in the area — and especially that rowing is present. I would love for them to know that RowAmerica Hamilton is right here with many options to get them out on the water once in a lifetime, or regularly — whatever they want. We love helping people enjoy the river and work towards their goals.

Q: What are some of the biggest projects for RowAmerica Hamilton in 2016?

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A: Some of our new programs for 2016 include a partnership with MetroParks of Butler County to offer Learn-to-Row days this summer in Hamilton and at VOA Park in West Chester Twp.

Introductory Immersion Weeks. These week-long summer programs will run Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for middle and high school youth who have never tried rowing before.

Immersion Weekends. These are focused more for adults interested in learning or increasing their skills over the course of two days. We will also have immersion weekends for athletes with disabilities and for people interested in undergoing training to volunteer for the adaptive program.

In the fall, we will be doing a three-day a week Intramural Team for youth from local middle and high schools. A great chance for youth to represent their school and train for a race at the end of the season.

Q: What are your fondest memories from 2015?

A: 2015 was RowAmerica Hamilton’s first year here and it has been wonderful to be so fully embraced by the community. Some of my fondest memories were the scrimmages on the river during RiversEdge concerts; doing team-building activities on the water for businesses like emersion DESIGN; the youth teams’ continual improvement and success at each race and being recognized by City Council; and hosting an intensive adaptive summer training for athletes pursuing their Paralympics dreams.

Q: What would you like to see RowAmerica Hamilton accomplish in 2016?

A: We are looking forward to hosting some events this year to make use of and celebrate river recreation. With leading gym classes with our rowing machines at many of the local schools somewhere every week to increase awareness of the sport, we look forward to increasing the number of youth involved at the club.

The goal for our Youth Racing Team is to send at least one boat to Nationals in New Jersey in June. We are starting an adult racing team who will travel over the summer and fall to regional and national competitions and hope to increase involvement from the people ages 20 through 80 in the community.

The spring is a great time to learn to row and see if you want to compete in the summer months. As Paralympic Sports Club Southwest Ohio, I would love to draw in additional athletes with disabilities interested in competing to join us as we train for the largest national adaptive regatta in August.

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