For the first time, the Grand Valley State University rowing team will train in Florida over the winter break and race in a New Year’s Eve regatta.
Thirty athletes and two coaches will leave December 30 for Winter Park, Florida, for a week-long trip. Coach John Bancheri said while the team won’t compete again until March, the trip serves two purposes.
“This time of year is an easy time to back off of training, so we’re using this trip as a motivator for the upcoming season and a way to congratulate our athletes for their hard work,” he said.
Rowing at Grand Valley is a club sport, but it’s the oldest sport on campus. More than 200 athletes are crew team members; the top men’s and women’s teams compete against the top collegiate crews in the country. Last year, members traveled to Croatia to race against European crews.
Bancheri said alumni crew members helped raise money for the Florida trip. Rowing club president Rachel Truelove, a native of Traverse City, said the trip will give the Lakers a head start on the spring season. The teams travel to Murray, Kentucky, on March 12 for a race against Murray State University.
“With the experience we get in Florida, we’ll be able to get a jump start on our southern counterparts,” Truelove said.
Media note: John Bancheri can be reached via cell phone at (616) 262-9537.