Rowing, or crew, is a sport that involves teams racing against each other on rivers or lakes, or sometimes the ocean. It can be recreational or competitive, and is one of the oldest modern-day Olympic sports. Competitive rowing began at European schools such as Oxford and Cambridge, and is now popular at many colleges and high schools.
But Crew is more than just a sport, it's a culture. As the oldest collegiate sport in the United States and one of the oldest sports in the world, it has developed a prestigious reputation and is filled with tradition.
Crew involves boats holding one, two, four, or eight rowers. The rowers sit directly behind one another on sliding seats with their backs facing the direction the boat moves. In sweep rowing (most four and eight boats), each rower has one oar. Alternatively, sculling (singles, most pairs and sometimes fours) is when each rower holds two oars. The stroke technique varies significantly between sculling and sweeping. To date, Samford Crew has only practiced and raced with sweep rowing.
Often the boat has a coxswain (cox), a person who is usually smaller in stature relative to the other rowers and is the absolute authority in the boat. His or her job is to steer the boat with commands and the rudder, as well as shout calls to speed up or synchronize strokes. For Samford Crew, the coxswain is particularly important because we do not always have coaches at our practices.
While boats often appear calm and stable to the onlooker, it is likely that rowers are overcoming intense mental and physical challenges to move through the water. Henry Brooks, a rower for Harvard in the early 1900s, described rowing saying,
"For it is a sport that absorbs all the gray matter you have to put into it, and at the same time it can take care of any amount of physical strength. If you happen to have any special gift for mechanics or are clever with your hands, or have a knack of handling yourself well, or are gifted with more than your share of grace of body, the rowing bag will take them all in, swallow them whole, and will still be shouting for more."
Rowing is a sport full of history and prestige, but it is also extremely physically demanding. It is one of the few non-weight bearing sports that exercises all major muscles: quads, biceps, triceps, lats, glutes, and abs. It develops both cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength. Though demanding, there is also a low risk of injury, and rowers can continue to participate even into their eighties, if they so choose.
(Partial information from Wikipedia.)
Samford Crew was established in Fall 2010 by a group of students without any equipment, knowledge, or experience. Thanks to their dedication, Samford students have the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in this historic sport and experience the passion that drives boats down rivers worldwide.Today, the team remains student-run, a rarity among other collegiate rowing programs. We are a close group of friends who spend hours on and off the water together. Many of the current members had never even touched an oar before joining the team!
Samford Crew stores our boats and holds water practices at Lake Purdy, in Birmingham, AL, through our partnership with the Lake Purdy Rowing Association (LPRA).
Numerous Samford students have tried this sport out...and the number of those who have what it takes is growing. Why don't you join us?
Samford Crew is here. Let the tradition begin!