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Check out our recent feature in The Stockton Record! Thank you Clifford Otto for taking the time to cover our work!
Here is a recent Q&A with novice rower, James, who just joined our Freedom Rows: Delta Heroes team, a program formed by active duty US Military and veterans with disabilities. James rowed with us during the summer for several months but because he works an 8pm to 3am shift in Lathrop and lives in Tracy, he eventually had to interrupt his sculling lessons with us. He later rejoined our team for some fabulous indoor rowing. Please read on . . .
“I'm part of the team now!!! This is going to be super fun!”
Throughout the year, Delta Sculling Center remains active in San Joaquin County. Whether at community fairs or hosting Sample Sculling sessions out on the Delta waterways, our goal is to make the sport of sculling accessible to everyBODY. We are able to adapt our boats and instruction to accommodate any physical or cognitive challenge one may face. Our adaptive rowers find “the run of the boat” with just as much ease and comfort as those that are able-bodied.
Our hearts are filled with joy every time we meet with a novice sculler, one who experiences rowing on the water for the first time. We get the opportunity to CONNECT! And in rowing, “connection” is everywhere. The biggest and best is, of course, connecting with one another. But there are metaphors for connecting throughout the most elemental parts of rowing. All the time we are in our sculls, we are thinking about the connection of our feet with the foot stretchers, our hands with our oar handles, our bottom with the seat, our blades as they drop in the water and the connection that is created as we drive the boat past where our blades lock onto the water. Connection is everywhere in our sport!
That’s why when one of our new athletes decides to take the leap and join our center, we get super excited! James is one of our novice scullers at Delta Sculling Center. Right before spring, James took on the World Erg Challenge, an indoor row competition hosted by Concept2. In just 30 days, James clocked in at 220,069 meters on his erg (indoor row machine) and took the bronze medal on our team! That is nearly 137 miles rowed in one month…not bad for ANY rower let alone a total novice!!
Here’s a few thoughts from James, who just caught the “rowing bug” as we like to call it. We cannot wait to see James and all of our DSC athletes back at our boathouse at RiverPoint Landing Marina soon!
DSC: James, how did you start your indoor row training this year?
James: I had a great experience at The Row House Gym. The instructor told me I had great technique, thanks to the instruction I received from DSC so far. I was so proud to hear that! This was what sparked me to buy an erg. Maybe one day I'll be a Row House franchise owner. I know it'll do well because people are now realizing how good rowing is for the body.
DSC: Concept2 hosts an indoor rowing challenge each year. You’ve been such a huge part of our World Erg Challenge team, Team Delta. Wish we could have ranked a little higher on the team leader board!
James: Winning comes in different forms. Being on Team Delta is a win for me! I was on a soccer team once where most of the team smoked marijuana and drank beer before, during and after the game and didn't care if they won or lost. That's a losing team. This team is doing the best they can. The win for me is that I am learning and getting stronger. I'm sure if we weren't so nice, we would limit the number of spaces and instruct the rowers in how much they need to do to be in the top 5.
Anyway, I'm going to try and do the best I can to get some big numbers for the team for the challenge. I'm having a great time doing this, and I'm really enjoying this new world I am in!
DSC: How do you feel about the 220,000+ meters you accomplished in 30 days?
James: When I finally saw all of the rowers and teams on the Concept2 website, I felt this immense motivation to row my a*# off! So, if my calculations are correct, had I not been so slow to realize what I had to do to set up the challenge on my computer, I could’ve ended up with at least 420,00 meters.
DSC: How has your on-water practice helped with your land rowing?
James: On land, I gave full effort in trying to stick to the technique you taught me. I feel that I was able to row longer on land at higher watts when I incorporated them. In the last week and a half, I have seen improvements in my mental state and fitness.
DSC: What do you think you still need to work on?
James: Currently (and probably forever), I am working on technique and form. I would like to get to a point where it would be hard for me to deviate from good form. I think I am pretty close considering how long it takes me to understand new things. After that, I can concentrate on time, power and stamina. The club’s mission, the vibe, and the people are all great, so I’d like to stay involved.
DSC: Where do you see rowing fitting in to your life from here on out?
James: I honestly think this is the tip of the iceberg. My mind has been going crazy in wanting to go to the next level. I know that I am new, but I do want to compete, I just don’t know how to go about it. Also, I know that I am still dialing in technique and form, but I definitely want more!
All of this is making me feel that saying thank you is not enough to describe my appreciation of what you have done for me. I love rowing. The people, the challenge, the fitness, the beauty, the suffering… everything associated with rowing. I can’t wait to experience the next level. Thank you, Pat. Thank you, DSC!
Thank YOU, James! Rowing is for everyBODY, and we are SO thrilled that you have found a passion in the sport that we all hold so dear to our hearts! Next time, we’ll see you on the water!
Since the start of quarantine our Oarbusters and Freedom Rows programs have come together via a virtual Zoom call every Thursday morning for an hour check in! During this time, members of our team lead the group in a guided meditation, Pilates instruction, and a yoga practice. We continue to explore each of these three practices through the lens of rowing and being on the water. At the end of every hour we are always so impressed by the synchronicities and collective energies resulting from the time spent together!
We just LOVE listening to the stories and updates from all of our rowers. And we KNOW we are all counting down the minutes until we can be back on the river where we find so much relaxation, peace, and a sense of community. We miss it, and we miss YOU! We will all be together on the Delta so soon!
Here are a few of the highlights that we spoke about about during our weekly virtual meetings with Oarbusters and Freedom Rows:
1. Meditation, led by Dorbea
Dorbea began meditation this week with a beautiful poem that had us truly visualizing our time together out on the water again, feeling that connection we yearn for every time we move out on the river:
2. Pilates, led by Karen C.
We spoke about the breath and focused on the Pilates foundation of contracting the transverse abdominals. When the transverse abs are held in, you can sit a little bit taller on the sit bones, the crown of the head reaching up towards the sky. The breath can then travel fluidly throughout the body. There is an energy lock that therefore allows the arms and upper body to feel lighter. We know we will be remembering this concept when we are out on the river next - it will definitely help us as we continue to develop our row stroke. Thank you, Karen!
3. Yoga, led by Jenna
We practiced the lotus mudra, or hand position that links to energy channels throughout the body. The lotus flower, strong in its roots, creates a beautiful bloom above water as the petals fan out, opening up to the sky.
By remaining steadfast in our focus and in our mission, we can continue to build upon a strong foundation and create something beautiful as we glide above the surface. Although we are far apart during this time, we know we will all return back to our sport and to the water with more strength, more confidence, and more gratitude.
We are continuously grateful for our weekly check in with the Oarbusters and Freedom Row athletes. Community is so important, especially during this time, and we feel exceptionally grateful for our growing one!
SO appreciative of all of our leaders and all of our athletes who continue to come together and share their positive energy each and every week! D-S-C!
Our Girls Row Stockton team always amazes us, and not just with their athletic performance. As the season continues on a little more unusual this past semester, their camaraderie has been consistent. And without their selflessness and support of one another, I don't even want to know where we'd be! Thanks, girls, for continuing to amaze us just by being YOU! We will all be back on the water soon.
We wanted to share with you a beautiful blog created by GRS athlete Sydney about her gratitude for the sport and this team, especially during quarantine:
Nature. God’s brilliant creation. It’s what surrounds us. Infatuates us.
Humble’s us by what a big God we serve with detail and beauty. I find myself drifting to the San Joaquin Delta. Home to where I row and sweat to death. I miss being on the water, despite the smell; I guess you get used to it after a while, I miss closing my eyes while on a long piece with the company of the boat, the water, and myself. I crave hearing the oars shift when I square up my blades and listening to the wake they make when I push them through the water. I yearn to feel the boat run under me and race the sea-lions swimming alongside...
Read more on Sydney's blog.
We are so excited to share a WONDERFUL opportunity to watch the inspiring 40-minute documentary of Title IX pioneer and two-time Olympian Chris Ernst who together with her Yale women’s rowing team sparked the movement toward equality in women’s athletics. You really don’t want to miss this FREE showing, available using the link below for just three days, Friday April 24th through Sunday, April 26th!
More on “A Hero for Daisy”: In 1976 Yale women’s rowing crew shed their sweats in the Director of Physical Education’s office to reveal the words “Title IX” marked on their naked bodies. Accompanied by a photographer and newspaper editor, that’s what this crew did to get the public’s attention about the inequities they suffered when, wet and chilled to the bone after practices, they had to wait on a campus bus for the men’s team to finish showering. Then they got to be transported back to their dorms so they, too, could finally shower and change into warm, dry clothes. That’s just the beginning of the story that sparked a movement from which women athletes are finally benefitting. The bravery and foresight of that crew and their captain Chris Ernst, whom former Secretary of State John Kerry called “the Rosa Parks of Title IX”, comes alive in “A Hero for Daisy”, a must-see documentary for anyone who cares about equal rights.
From Friday April 24th through Sunday April 26th, watch this documentary produced by Olympic rower Mary Mazzio FOR FREE using this link here !!!
That was Mazzio’s first film in rowing and it foreshadows another of her movies coming to us soon!
Don’t miss Mazzio’s most recent documentary “A Most Beautiful Thing” that premiered in Congress just before the COVID crisis hit. Postponed till June 12th for wide distribution, “A Most Beautiful Thing” is based on a book by Arshay Cooper, and it’s getting rave reviews! It documents the unbelievable challenges faced by the author and his teammates, who comprised the first all-black rowing crew in the country.
Stay tuned as we post updates on the wide release of “A Most Beautiful Thing”. You really won’t want to miss it!
Rowing is a fantastic non-impact workout, and now, especially, burning some extra calories is not only healthy for the body but also for the mind and soul. Although we are unable to hold water practices, we've been so grateful to find homes for our ergs (indoor rowing machines) throughout our community in Stockton. The machines have landed at the homes of several instructors in Stockton Unified School District, Aspire Public Schools and the homes of both Girls Row Stockton team members and Masters athletes from DSC. Weekly virtual indoor rowing practices are being held for our members to help them maintain or improve their fitness and rowing technique.
And 20 ergs from the Erg Ed Grant have found a home with our great partner, Discovery ChalleNGe Academy. The young cadets have remained on campus during quarantine. We have been conducting Erg Ed with them using these machines every Tuesday and Thursday for the past four weeks.
All of this is possible thanks to The George Pocock Rowing Foundation which gave the Erg Ed Grant to SUSD and Aspire Public Schools about three years ago. Although we are unable to continue to the implementation of Erg Ed among our schools due to the pandemic, we are thrilled that we can teach the content and work with Discovery ChalleNGe Academy to achieve our collective goal for youth to find, start and stay rowing!
We were honored to be a part of The Pocock Foundation's newsletter this spring. Please take a look below at their write up:
Students are facing the rest of this academic year from their homes, through home-schooling or online classes. But what if your school is your home?
Discovery ChalleNGe Academy is a Community High School run by the National Guard. At Discovery, students live on-campus for five of their 17 months as part of the program. Discovery serves high-school aged students from 16 to 18 years old who are at high risk of dropping out of school or having a credit deficit.
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, Discovery ChalleNGe Academy made the decision to keep all their live-in students on campus during the pandemic. Shortly before the state-wide, shelter-in-place order went into effect, 20 rowing machines had been delivered to DCA in preparation for Erg Ed.
DCA requested to continue with Erg Ed as it is something that students look forward to every year and they are doing their best to continue their service and commitment to the students despite the pandemic. Pat Tirone, the Stockton Erg Ed Lead, is working with DCA to continue to teach students every Tuesday and Thursday. Armed to the teeth with personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, Dr. Tirone and Dr. Oprandy (coaches at Delta Sculling Center) go to the school to teach and continue to serve their community during this time.
Thank you to Dr. Tirone and Dr. Oprandy, and all service personnel who continue to do their jobs for others during this time!
Our partners are SO important to us always, and especially during this time of social distancing. We will come out of this just as strong and focused, with enough momentum to continue to grow our mission: to make the sport of sculling accessible to everyBODY in our community, no matter the specific challenge they face, so that they can reap the physical, cognitive, emotional and spiritual benefits that the sport has to offer!
If you or someone you know is searching for a recreational and fitness-focused community in San Joaquin County or perhaps in the town or city where you reside, please contact us!
It is always great to connect with like-minded individuals who share in our same goals.
- Bob and Pat
Team Delta Tops Two Million Meters in the WEC
DSC’s Team Delta logged 2,172,989 during the one-month World Erg Challenge, travelling the equivalent of 46,000 meters beyond Amarillo (or within only 5.5 kms. of Prince George, British Columbia)! Almost half of those meters were rowed by our top four participants, Kurt Johnson (301!), John Silverton (270), James Marquez (220) and Beverly Klunk (200). Beverly simultaneously did the April Fool’s Challenge, finishing both challenges with amazing results! Also above the 100 km. mark were newcomer Jean Hendrix and experienced rowers Susan Ollis, Rebecca and Renaldo Abreu, and Pat T. and Bob O. (both wives beating out both husbands!).
Several DSCers topped 40 kms., led by newcomer Jody Nance (90) and including Kim Sparrowk, Bob Lee, Rachel Tappero (who logged over 58 kms. as a PR 2 rower!), Lesley Galloway, Dee Shunk and Amy McDaniel. Masters scullers May Mardini and Dale Casale also contributed several thousand meters. In between school work assignments, several members of DSC’s Girls Row Stockton team also contributed many meters to Team Delta’s total. Besides Amy McDaniel (with 41 kms.), Tania Tufui-Niu (29), Skylar Flowers (22), Sydney Jones (18), and Hannah Noe (9) also contributed to DSC’s more than 2 million meters.
Very exciting was the incredible push within the last four days of the challenge, when Team Delta’s average per participant went from 77 kms. to 94+ kms.! That enabled our team to extend our average per participant over three teams, all with more rowers than Team Delta’s 23.
WELL DONE TEAM DELTA!! MORE CHALLENGES TO COME.
- Bob O.
Our Center During the Quarantine
When Delta Sculling Center was founding in 2013, we built it on the foundation of inclusion. Our mission: to be a place where everyBODY sculls. Regardless of where you come from, your prior experience with the sport, or your physical and cognitive gifts/limitations, DSC continues to welcome ALL with open arms…with a couple more feet of physical distance in between us right now!
A few weeks before the shelter-in-place sanction was issued, DSC hosted our first Sample Scull introductory session of 2020. We had four new potential rowers show up at our boathouse to learn the sport and gain some comfort for getting out on the water in sculling shells. And boy, did they get out on the water! They put the sculling stroke together and built some good confidence within just a few hours. As we like to say, they were “bit by the rowing bug”. Out of these four individuals, three are local and committed to continue with our center once we are allowed back to the water to practice! And one will be driving up from Hanford, CA (3 hours south of Stockton) once a month to continue with us.
This is a tough time for all of us. Luckily, “community” is the foundation of DSC and continues as one of its core values. The individuals that make up our center are strong and dynamic. We would not exist without the countless hours and mounds of energy that our organization contributes to make us not only stand tall but thrive! We are confident that at the end of the quarantine, we will come back as strong as ever.
In order to stay ready, our athletes have had to get creative about ways in which we can come together socially and to practice aspects of our sport. Although we are not sharing the same physical space and we are not on the water in our boats where we most want to be, we continue to share virtual space each and every week using Zoom video conferencing.
Here are a few of our weekly meetups that are keeping us strong, centered and fulfilling our needs through this overwhelmingly wavy time:
As you can see, we are keeping quite busy and ensuring both our mental, spiritual and physical sides are staying well maintained and polished to ride out these uncertain days.
Sacramento-San Joaquin County Delta
On a daily basis we feel so lucky that we have access to one of Stockton’s most prized and sometimes unrecognized recreational resources: the waterways of the Delta. Especially considering that we are a completely landlocked county, it is striking to realize we are part of an ecosystem that consists of 1,100 miles of levees that borders 700 miles of waterways. If you have never experienced a day on the Delta, that alone is reason enough to come down to our boathouse when we can and see what we are all about.
Starting your day with a row across and down the deep-water channel or closing out your day with an evening row with friends is not only unique, but meditative and healing (or, if you want, you can really get your body working and your heart pumping!). We look forward to experiencing days on the Delta again and, for now, we wish you and yours good health, safety and peace!
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DSC scullers brought lots of excitement to this year’s Golden State Indoor Rowing Championships at the Sac. State Aquatic Center and to the Peninsula Indoor Rowing Championships at St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco.
The GSIRC venue was packed with rowers and their cheering supporters and coaches, and, as usual, DSC scullers and their families and friends were well represented. In fact, DSC once again earned cheering honors, providing the loudest cheers among all onlookers. For all but two of DSC’s Girls Row Stockton team it was their first indoor competition, and they fared extremely well.
All GRS’s novices (Amy McDaniel, Briana Arceo-Salgado, Maya Castillo, and Skylar Flowers) had personal records when comparing their best practice 2K times with what they achieved at Sac. State. With tired wobbling legs they all made it down the stairway to ring the famous PR bell. Injured novice Sydney Jones played a big role by being chief cheerleader and coaching two athletes during the day. Returnee varsity rower Hannah Noe, who has four years of competition
left, came home with a silver medal in her event, and Elise Hill competed very well, as always, at her last indoor championship as a high schooler. Elise wants to return as a DSC rower after she graduates. Pizza was the prize for everyone following the day’s competitions.
One of the highlights of the day was when Rachel Tappero and Jamie Nance had the privilege of racing against the inspirational Sally Callahan, who set the world indoor record for those in their 90’s by posting a 1K time of 2:48.2. She is a Masters able-bodied rower. Rachel, a PR 2 rower, beat Sally to the finish line by demolishing her own 1K record by 46 seconds, posting an amazing time of 10:46 (but hold on for some other news below). Jamie, a novice PR 1 rower, finished strong and was not far behind his competitors in his first-ever rowing competition. He will be a force to be reckoned with in future events.
The day finished with DSC Masters rower Lesley Galloway ringing the PR bell by clocking a 2:18 time that earned her a gold medal in her event. Because she was the only participant in her Women’s lightweight event, she raced with all the teenage coxwains from the clubs attending the championships. Lesley’s time was better than that of seven of those coxes in the 16-person event, and they were all less than a third of her age!
A week later, Rachel and Jamie competed again in San Francisco. Rachel surprised us all by besting her personal record AGAIN, logging a time of 10:42, which is amazing for someone as light as she is. Her new nickname is “The Beast”. Jamie, coached by his wife Kathryn, found the experience of another competition invaluable in establishing baselines for future endeavors as a rower.
CONGRATS TO ALL THE DSC ATHLETES, PARENTS, RELATIVES, AND FRIENDS WHO EITHER COMPETED OR LENT SUPPORT AT THESE TWO INDOOR ROWING CHAMPIONSHIPS. HERE’S HOPING EVEN MORE DSC REPRESENTATION WILL BE AT THESE EVENTS NEXT YEAR!
Stockton, California held its historic first indoor rowing competition on January 27, 2020 at Health Careers Academy.
The cheering never stopped! Unified Events brought together adaptive and general ed PE students from Stockton Unified School District schools that are benefiting from the George Pocock Rowing Foundation’s Erg Ed® curriculum.
Organizers Dr. Pat Tirone, Executive Director of Delta Sculling Center, and Zebulon Gromm, PE teacher at Health Careers Academy, brought together 75 students to participate in the competition with the assistance of Stockton Unified School District's PE teachers trained in Erg Ed® and SUSD Athletic Director Joseph Martinez.
Competitions (done as general ed, adaptive PE, and unified events) included 500 meter sprints, 2K races, 10-minute relays, and a 30-second max power challenge. The unified relay events consisted of 3 general ed PE and 3 adaptive PE students.
Competitors put so much into the day’s challenges that many were falling to the floor upon completing events!
We look forward to continuing the championships for SUSD in the semesters to come!
Also, The Pocock Foundation graciously included the championship we held in their 2020 Newsletter. Read below for their write up:
Stockton, California held its historic first Erg Ed indoor rowing competition, Jan. 27th at Health Careers Academy, where the cheering never stopped. Organizers Dr. Pat Tirone, Executive Director of Delta Sculling Center, and Zebulon Gromm, a PE teacher at HCA, with the assistance of Unified School District's PE teachers trained in Erg Ed and SUSD Athletic Director Joseph Martinez, gathered 75 students to participate in the competition. The teams were divided into three categories: general ed, adaptive PE, and unified events (featuring three adaptive and three general ed athletes together on one team). The competition included 500 meter sprints, 2K races, 10-minute relays, and 30-second max power tests. Competitors put so much into the day's efforts, it left some falling to the floor upon completing their events.
Delta Sculling Center was recently mentioned in the news on JL Racing's blog, The Launch. JL Racing is the official partner and outfitter of US Rowing. Please read about Joline's experience with the sport, her pursuit of inclusion, and her mention of DSC among other incredible organizations working day in and day out to achieve similar goals.
Thank you for continuing this conversation! I was so grateful to Megan O’Leary when I first read “I want my sport to look more like my country” and the first time I heard Arshay Cooper say that a sport is not really a sport until it is truly inclusive! So now thank you, to you, Joline, to share an example of how you have been treated as “other” (and I love your acknowledgement that the feelings sparked by feeling “other” were/are “dust-mote” sized compared to what many live with constantly).
But we do all know what it means to be “othered” in some way – we can all find our own examples! And I appreciate that you note: "While I have actively chosen my differences, there are many more who are born into boxes we never even knew existed. Boxes we are only now coming to understand or unpack – requiring more active compassion than ever.
Yes – more compassion than ever — that’s my prayer for 2020 . I love your action list – that will help the prayer come to fruition!