Dear Parents:

I want you to consider having you son or daughter participate in a sport that is relatively new to Spring Lake – Crew or Rowing. There are only about 25 schools in Michigan that participate in rowing. On the other hand, there are 8 colleges in the State that have rowing programs. Most of the Big Ten schools have students who have never rowed prior to college. They are former Basketball and Football players and Swimmers. Some never played any sport in high school.

I started the program with the intention of garnering Division 1 scholarships for students or giving them an opportunity to be accepted at Universities they may not otherwise get into based on academics alone. In fact we have already been contacted by the MSU girls coach who is actively recruiting our girls to come visit the campus and meet their rowers. Grand Valley is also interested in our rowers and their Head Coach, John Bancheri, 2015 Collegiate Coach of the Year, has given me invaluable advice and support to start our program.

Rowing is a small community. In the past year I have gotten to know coaches at Michigan, Rutgers, and UC Santa Barbara in addition to Grand Valley and Michigan State.

Rowing is a lifelong sport. There are several rowers in the area, including myself, who never rowed until after the age of 50. The basic technique can be taught in an hour, but takes thousands of hours to become a master rower. It is one of the greatest conditioning sports and they are few injuries associated with it. Above all it teaches teamwork, another invaluable life skill.

As a club sport we charge a participation fee but we have kept our costs down. I believe our participation fee is less than any other program in the State. We charge $50 a month for winter training and $225 for the Spring season, which includes entry fees to regattas. It is a phenomenal value given the amount of equipment we need to purchase. A single 8+ boat can run upwards of $60,000. Due to our generous community we were able to raise over $30,000 in our first year!

Please encourage your son or daughter to join us. No prior experience required. We hope to be on the water by the end of March and are currently rowing on “Ergs” indoors in Ferrysburg.

Rowing – where cerebral and corporeal meet.

Paul Winter
President, Spring Lake Crew Club, Inc.