I believe the Support4Sport program is really the best thing to happen to sport in Nova Scotia in a very long time

Ken Bagnell, President
Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic

Erica Underwood

In rowing, you go farther by pulling together
Community Program

The Antigonish Rowing Club is quietly nestled along Nova Scotia’s Fundy Shore coastline. Having been founded only six years ago, the club is still relatively new, yet it possesses an ‘old world’ feel that continues to attract members from both near and far.
The club’s adjacent harbour is known throughout the province for its prized bird habitat, and seal sightings are a daily occurrence. The remarkably tranquil setting gives the feeling of “rowing through the wilderness,” explains Erica Underwood, the club’s head coach. The Antigonish Rowing Club is the only club outside of Halifax that offers such a unique experience.
The club was founded so that local rowing enthusiasts could enjoy the sport closer to home.
It’s a wonderful place to come down and enjoy this prestigious sport at a rural level. I've been with the club since its inception, and it holds a very special place in my heart,” Underwood says.
It’s apparent from the commitment of its members, that the Antigonish Rowing Club holds meaning for many individuals. Both the club’s instructional programs and day-to-day organization depend heavily on their volunteer base. 
“Most of our volunteers are students that squeeze in the time to help coach and work with the crews. But, there are also dedicated community members who have volunteered their time to help with finances and publicity,” says Underwood.
And whether she’s planning a BBQ fundraiser, driving three hours to pick up a new boat or looking for more instructors to meet with the club’s growing demand, Underwood knows she can depend on her fellow rowing enthusiasts. But while the club boasts many devoted members and volunteers, until recently their row equipment was in a dilapidated state.
“When the club first opened we had no new equipment. The oars were in need of constant repair and, as time went on, some equipment was destroyed or was just too expensive to repair,” says Underwood.
Without adequate equipment, over time the status of the club would also deteriorate. But with funding from the Support4Sport program, the Antigonish Rowing Club was able to revitalize its offerings through the purchase of much-needed new equipment.
Underwood explains saying, “The funding has been helpful for the club in many ways.  We are a small rural club that has not had a lot of prestige in our short history, yet we are slowly gaining a reputable membership in recreational and competitive rowing.  The Support4Sport funding has helped us purchase a floating dock and a set of brand new sweep oars.” 
According to Underwood, the Support4Sport funding has been an excellent morale booster, and despite their humble beginnings, the members of the Antigonish Rowing Club have made a name for themselves at the provincial competitions. Just this past year they had their best showing yet, with crews winning from the novice to senior levels.
“Achievement can happen at any level in any sport, and it's a joy for me as a coach to see my students mastering new techniques, and for myself as an athlete when I master a new technique or reach a new level of athleticism,” says Underwood.
But for the members of the Antigonish Rowing Club, rowing isn’t all about the competition. For them it’s more about the skills they acquire and the friends they meet along the way.
Underwood finishes by saying “Sport isn't all about the competition. It's about that amazing feeling you get when you know you’ve done something new and challenging, and that you’ve conquered it.”
With such an optimistic and committed team, the members of the Antigonish Rowing Club are confident that they’ll enjoy future successes. After all, in rowing (as in life) you go farther by pulling together.


Antigonish, NS
45° 37' 26.7276" N, 61° 59' 15.396" W


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