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Six reasons to get your girl in a boat

By Merlisa Lawrence Corbett, 04/22/15, 4:30PM MDT


If your daughter loves sports and is open to something new, get that girl in a boat.

Ever since the NCAA added women’s rowing in 1997, girls have been flocking to the sport.

Rowing is a relatively easy sport to learn. However, it requires hard work.  Rowing offers little chance for individual glory or instant gratification. Instead, the payoffs come later.

Once reserved for men at elite colleges such as Harvard, Yale and Oxford, rowing has become more accessible through area rowing clubs and high school programs.

To find a club near you, visit the U.S. Rowing website. In the meantime, consider these six reasons to get that girl in a boat.

1. Rowing is the ultimate team sport

A true team sport, rowing is where strength and determination meet synchronization. Gymnastics, tennis and figure skating, sports popular among girls, promote individuality. When girls grow up and enter the workforce, they find corporate culture revolves around team concepts. Rowing is the ultimate team sport. It’s two to eight girls rowing together for a common goal. Free-styling is not an option. One person tries to go it alone, and the entire boat suffers. Learning team discipline will serve your daughter the rest of her life.

2. Scholarships!

The NCAA recognizes women’s rowing only. Colleges have men’s rowing teams, however they operate under a different system. Because of Title IX, many schools with large football programs have top women’s rowing teams. There are no female sports equivalent to football in terms of roster size. So some schools add another boat to satisfy Title IX requirements. Traditional football powerhouses such as Oklahoma and Alabama have strong women’s rowing programs with rosters exceeding 50.

3. Competitive edge in education

Rowing enjoys a long tradition at elite private schools on the high school and college level. If your daughter has solid academics, her rowing background could make the difference in getting into an elite school. As Will King wrote for U.S. Rowing, “In Divisions II and III, all things being equal, many admissions committees try to ensure that they remain competitive in Olympic sports like rowing by having a number of experienced rowers to balance the walk-ons.”

4. Pleasant venues

Rowing events, often called regattas, take place on rivers and lakes in picturesque settings. Of course, they require early morning start times. However, if weather is too rough, events are cancelled.  As a parent, you’ll get to enjoy your daughter’s sport with a waterfront view.

5. Full-body workout

Contrary to what many believe, rowing works more than the upper body. In fact, the legs get more of a work out than the arms. Rowing impacts nine major muscles groups, according to Josh Crosby, a former member of the U.S. National rowing team. Those include quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, core, shoulder, triceps, back and biceps. Your daughter will burn calories galore.

6. Low impact

As rigorous as rowing is, it’s easy on the joints. Crosby considers it ideal for athletes recovering from injuries. Girls can avoid the pounding associated with playing high-impact sports such as basketball, lacrosse, or field hockey. They reduce the risk of sprained ankles and possible broken bones common with gymnastics. The worst thing that happens to rowers is they form calluses on their hands. So unless hand-modeling is in your daughter’s future, get that girl in a boat.

From the website.