The Atomic Rowing team is looking for East Tennessee student athletes (13-18) interested in trying the sport of rowing.
The team will hold two free youth learn-to-row lessons, followed by a no obligation eight-day trial period, for all prospective spring walk-ons. It is recommended that athletes interested in making the crew attend the lessons, but it is not required.
During tryout periods, prospective rowers will be taught equipment handling, basics of rowing technique, and safety. Students will be evaluated on overall athletic potential, character, team-first attitude, and ability to be coached.
The youth learn-to-row lessons will be held Friday, Feb. 15, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Oak Ridge Rowing Association Boathouse on Melton Lake Drive. The 14-week spring season starts Feb. 18 with registration open until March 1. Practice runs from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. several times per week. An information meeting with the coaches will be held in the ORRA Boathouse on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Atomic Rowing is the Oak Ridge Rowing Association’s competitive youth traveling composite club program and is the oldest active youth rowing program in the state of Tennessee, a press release said. It is comprised of athletes from 13 different public and private schools in Anderson, Blount, Knox, and Roane counties.
As rowing is not affiliated with a school district, it is also a great team sport for home school students, the press release said. This open participation and various backgrounds let Atomic Rowing continue to flourish and become more competitive every year while giving the team a great sense of openness, the release said.
Currently, the team has more than 70 members, and new members are encouraged to start at the beginning of each season. Atomic Rowing has novice and varsity crews for young women and men. Participants in their first year of rowing are classified as novices, and they practice three to four times per week, learning safety, the basic rowing stroke, timing, general fitness, and blade handling skills to make boats move, the release said.
Athletes from other sports have joined Atomic Rowing looking for something new and different and have had a great experience becoming part of an instant lifelong community, the release said.
“We want to encourage young athletes, regardless of experience to learn more about rowing and tryout,” Head Coach Allen Eubanks said. “We know that most young people in the area don’t have prior rowing experience. We look for athletes who are confident with a positive ‘I can do it’ attitude, who want to compete. Once we find them, we can teach them how to row.
“The coaching staff is interested in athletes wanting the challenge of competing with the best programs in the country. It sounds cliché, but rowing is the ultimate team sport as there are no super stars, as it takes effort from everyone to make the boat move.”
Atomic Rowing conducts training on Melton Hill Lake, which is regarded as one of the top places to row in the country, and Oak Ridge hosts regattas every year.
The Oak Ridge Rowing Association also has classes and programs for adult members. The ORRA Masters will be holding free adult learn-to-row clinics before the start of their season on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.., 12:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. or Sunday, Feb. 24, from 10 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
For more information about becoming part of Atomic Rowing, perspective members should contact Eubanks at [email protected], call (865) 482-6538, like the organization on Facebook, or visit the website at www.atomicrowing.com.
The Oak Ridge Rowing Association Boathouse is at 697 Melton Lake Drive on the east end of Oak Ridge.