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Calvin’s rowing club returns

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After being discontinued in 2011, the rowing club will be making a reappearance at Calvin this coming fall. Freshman Kayla VandenBosch is the force behind the return of the club, which was originally established in 1999.

VandenBosch started rowing through the city of Grand Rapids her freshman year of high school. She is currently on the board of the Grand Rapids Rowing Association as a student member. VandenBosch used her connections with leadership at the Grand Rapids Rowing Association to to gain access to their boathouse for Calvin’s rowing club.

The boathouse is located on the Grand River, which is where the rowing team will be rowing.

“It’s a beautiful view. That’s one of my favorite parts about rowing is that you are so in touch with nature. You can hear it, you can smell it, you can see it. It’s just all around you and you are not stuck in a gym, you are not stuck in a weight room, you’re just seeing God’s creation all around you.

VandenBosch believes everyone can benefit from rowing, no matter who they are. She says that the sport is focused more on a team than the individual.

“Not only is it really good for your health, for your body, but it’s also really good for mental health. It really makes you strong in that way and it develops a sense of teamwork,” said VandenBosch.

VandenBosch has held one informational meeting about the club already and is willing to have another meeting if more people express interest. Thirty students showed up to the first meeting. VandenBosch also has about 60 people on her master list that have expressed interest in joining the rowing club.

“I’ve had a number of people come up to me and say that this rowing club, that I don’t even know has been accepted yet, is already such a huge blessing in my life. That just makes me so excited for what the rowing club can do for Calvin,” said VandenBosch.

The large number of people that have expressed interest in the club provides VandenBosch with hope for the future. She sees the club prospering and continuing on for many years to come. Although the club hasn’t officially been accepted as a Calvin club, VandenBosch hopes the club will be accepted soon. She won’t be granted funding until this coming fall at the earliest.

“A lot of people with injuries can’t play a lot of sports, and their trainers will tell them to row and that’s the only thing they can do. I think that Calvin needs to provide that outlet because it’s hard to find a place to row. You need the connections. I want to be that connection.”

There will be a few learn-to-row days this spring to raise awareness about the future rowing club. Everyone is invited to attend and you don’t have to be a part of the rowing club to go. The dates are yet to be determined, but VandenBosch will post more information in Student News.

“I want to get seniors out on the water,” said VandenBosch, “because I want them to be able to take something out of this in their last semester and be able to apply that to the rest of their lives and to future institutions that they’re at.”

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