Olympic rower Lauren Wilkinson was in Nelson to speak to students last week. Photo: Tyler Harper

VIDEO: Olympic rower gets coaching lessons from Nelson students

Lauren Wilkinson visited Trafalgar and the Nelson Rowing Club

Lauren Wilkinson is an Olympic medallist, but she thinks she can learn from Nelson’s students.

Wilkinson, a two-time Olympian who won silver with Canada’s coxed women’s eight team in 2012, was in Nelson last week to speak at Trafalgar Middle School and help train young rowers with the Nelson Rowing Club.

But the students were also helping Wilkinson, who retired in 2017 and is now working on a bachelor of education at the University of British Columbia with aspirations of being a teacher.

“It’s often a bit of a misconception. Just because you can do the sport doesn’t make you a good coach,” she said.

Wilkinson’s visit was part of UBC’s community field experience program, which encourages future teachers to use their experience in new environments.

It also coincided with a request from the Nelson Rowing Club to Rowing BC for some help promoting its rejuvenated junior program.

So last week, Wilkinson fielded questions about her silver medal and what it takes to become an Olympic athlete.

“They have lots of questions, like how heavy is the boat, how much do you eat, how many hours a day do you train? It’s a bit of novelty for them to hear about that really strange lifestyle as a national team athlete.”

Wilkinson started rowing when she was 11. Rowing was part of her family’s life — her parents David and Susan were both rowers (David was part of the Canadian team that boycotted the 1980 Games), while her older brother Jerome rowed provincially and other brother Michael also rowed at the 2012 Games.

She grew up in North Vancouver and learned to row at Burnaby Lake, which she describes as just over 2,000 metres, marshy and a good place to look at lily pads.

“While I was still too young to row, my brothers would be in the water and my mom would say, ‘Okay, Lauren, you and I are going to run around the lake.’ So as soon as I could, I was in that rowing boat because I really didn’t want to run around the lake with my mom.

“Sorry mom.”

Rowing in Nelson, which began in 1896, has its own Olympic past. Nelson native Lorne Loomer was on Canada’s first gold medal winning team in 1956.

Although the heart of B.C. rowing remains on the coast, Wilkinson was impressed by what she saw in Nelson.

“Just a tiny bit of a storied history, as in quite good for a relatively small population size but producing very good athletes, not just in rowing.”

Related: The quiet engine: remembering Olympian and artist Lorne Loomer



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Lauren Wilkinson shows off some rowing techniques to Trafalgar Middle School students Wednesday. Photo: Tyler Harper

Grade 6 student Kane Stumpf tries his hand at rowing. Photo: Tyler Harper

Just Posted

Cavalcade is on! L.V. Rogers grads to parade through city next month

The annual event has been given the green light to run June 13

Young farmers find a home through land-matching program

Young Agrarians links would-be farmers with landowners who have land to spare

Morning start: A history of the Arrow Lakes

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Wednesday, May 27

COLUMN: Let’s celebrate tourism week

Dianna Ducs suggests we turn Tourism Week (this week) into Tourism Month. Photo submitted

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Restorative pole project underway in Edgewood

The pole was made almost 50 years ago to pay respect to local First Nations

Risk of COVID-19 low in schools, Interior Health states

Medical Health Officer reassures parents as some children and staff head back to class June 1

Most Read