SRA Provincial Coach: Garett Mathiason
I began rowing in the summer of 1996. Therefore, 2015 is my 20th year in the sport. Time flies!
I love the personal growth that rowing provides. Once a participant commits fully to the process, they learn to understand how to tap into their potential by persevering through physical, technical, mental and tactical experiences. As a coach, observing and contributing to this growth is very exciting for me. Through these experiences, people begin to love the sport because of what rowing provides for them.
I started rowing in the summer of 1996 with the Prince Albert Drifters Rowing Club. I began rowing in high school with my cousin. We had so much fun, racing in trainers and doing this unique movement on the river, that it was a bonus that we were getting in great shape as well. From these humble beginnings, I became excited to try the competitive end of the sport. In making the 1997 Canada Games team, I became the first rower from outside of Saskatoon or Regina to make a provincial team. From there, I competed in two additional multi-sport Games: the 1999 Western Canada Summer Games in my hometown of Prince Albert, and the 2001 Canada Summer Games. The friendships I have developed during that time remain my most dear to this day.
Following the 2001 Canada Summer Games, I had some fantastic experiences rowing with the University of Victoria, and especially, the York City Rowing Club in York, England. This included competing in the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, England. I last competed on the water in 2007, when Regina last hosted the NWIRA Championship Regatta.
In 2008, I became an NCCP Level 3 certified coach. I got a Bachelor of Kinesiology and Health Studies Degree from the University of Regina in 2005, with a major in Fitness and Lifestyle. In 2005, I became the 2nd coach from Saskatchewan to represent Canada by coaching the junior mens team at the CanAmMex Regatta in Oak Ridge, TN, where I lead the junior boys to a regatta win over our US and Mexican counterparts. I again coached Team Canada at CanAmMex in 2014, where I was the junior mens sweep coach. I was part of a team of talented athletes and coaches who dominated the CanAmMex regatta for the first time in recent memory.
While coaching since 2001 in Prince Albert, Victoria, and Regina, I have been the Provincial Coach South with the Saskatchewan Rowing Association since 2011. It is has been an absolute privilege to coach alongside my childhood friend, John Haver (Provincial Coach North) since taking up this role.
In the summer months my primary coaching group will be junior (U19) athletes who are training and trialing for the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games Team, and the World Junior Rowing Championships. I will also be coaching High Performance (i.e., National team potential) U23 athletes. By the fall, I will coach any new U19 athletes who have potential to make future Provincial teams
My favourite quote linked to rowing is from Steve Fairbairn "To improve the oarsman you must improve the man."
For more information, visit the Saskatchewan Rowing Association (SRA) website
Club Manager & Learn to Row Coach: Julie Nguyen
I began rowing in the fall of 2011. I gained interest in rowing during Campbell’s Club Day event where I saw posters on a table promoting it.
After taking my first “learn-to-row” session, I found the sport very interesting, despite how unfit I was - I literally took three strokes and stopped to admire the geese on Wascana. From there, I began rowing consistently and continued to improve and love the sport even more. And by attending Henley in 2012, Canada Games in 2013, and NRCs in 2014, motivated me to keep improving and to stay competitive.
One of the most important things rowing has taught me is that commitment produces success and because of this, rowing has given me many opportunities. I am grateful of the skills rowing has taught me such as communication, time management, and finishing a task from beginning to end. I also value the travel opportunities and the people I have met along the years. This has shown me what an actual team dynamic looks like which is always valuable since working or competing in any environment includes interacting with others. However, the sport has also exposed me to the dangers of being too competitive and caring too much about results or competitors.
Leading up to where I am now, I have learned that disappointment only helps you grow in the end and that you have to let go of certain losses. But, learning to move on is the most difficult part.
The summer of 2015 really helped me develop as an athlete. Although I dealt with a lot of frustration last year with my shoulder/neck “injury”, it has taught me not to fight the conditions, but to go with it. So, going through nine months of physiotherapy was really draining. However, the outcome I achieved at the 2015 Western Canada Games showed me what true happiness and success looked like. I’m a firm believer of how “everything happens for a reason”. Even though that injury got progressively worse throughout the summer and influenced my decision to stop rowing right now, it has given me the opportunity to see rowing from a different perspective.
My favourite quote is: "If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results." – Jack Dixon