Presented by Palo Alto Rowing Club

I'm not sure if this is something that I need to discuss at the meeting but if I understood correctly last time we spoke, you indicated that I am supposed to be a varsity program this year.

I understand that rules are established to make things fair for everyone and that by the time we are a third year program we should have a varsity boat. Meaning if I put a jv boat out to race I also have to put a varsity boat on the water. I don't have the numbers to do so. With all the road blocks along the way it has taken longer than 3 seasons to establish the program.

The first year we started our program very late due to equipment arriving late. We literally had 2 months on the water including championships. Unbeknown to me the novice year ended at Championship. I had kicked 17 kids out of my program due to breaking the Drug and alcohol rules, virtually depleting the program and forcing us to start over last season. I had 4 returning novice girls to make up my Jv boat as the others who were not dismissed had graduated.

When I met with the school late, last October (we start our program in Nov per school request) I was informed by the school that there would be no rowing connected to the school, no Palo Alto High School rowing club. They wanted nothing to do with the program and would not permit me to recruit kids from the school as planned. Nor did they allow the kid to exists as a club sport at school until late March when thing were finally smoothed out with the directors at school.I had to start new, became a public club and scrambled to get kids to form a novice 8 , already so late in the season. Last season we had one Novice 8t and a JV 4t.

This season we will have 3 returning jv girls and thus far 6 returning novice girls. Clearly I don't have enough kids in the program to form a varsity 8. I need one more year to be able to put a varsity 8 on the water. Its not fair to the kids to have to skip the Jv year. They will not benefit from being a Varsity boat. They are not seasoned rowers, haven't the experience nor time on the water to be at Varsity level.

One of the things we are taught through the coaching program to match kids up with like skills so that they won't be frustrated, they need to feel that they are successful. For this very reason we have the 3 categorys and we don't race novice with varsity. Although my JV 4t did well last year, if you check the records you will see that the novices girls came last in every race and not by 1 or 2 seconds but by boat lengths. These girls are only JV this year, not varsity.

Due to the circumstances and the fact that we are a second year program I would like to request that the coaches in our region allow us to wait one more season before we have to produce a varsity boat.

Lynn Gardner
Palo Alto Junior Rowing Club