Kristen Thompson/For Metro Vancouver
Ellen Smith said she’d never have thought her daughter, Katie, would be willing to partake in a rowing race, let alone enjoy the experience.
But yesterday the fifteen-year-old Richmond student, who is nervous of water, conquered her fear.
Katie joined 39 other local teenagers at the UBC Boathouse in Richmond to celebrate the end of a national eight-session learn-to-row program, Dynamic Opportunities for Youth, for at-risk youth.
“The whole concept of being that low to the water has been a huge breaking point for her,” said Smith.
The students received coaching tips from two-time Olympian and World Champion rower, Dave Calder.
Scott Parfitt, general manager of GO Rowing and Paddling Association of Canada, which produces the event, said the program teaches youth about trust, goal setting and overcoming personal challenges.
“They’re really proud of themselves,” he said. “The program has improved their self-confidence and drive.”