six students using oars to row a boat

Beginning Rowing: It's All About Teamwork!

six students using oars to row a boat

Students in a beginning rowing class practice at the Los Gatos Rowing Club at the Lexington Reservoir (Brittany Manrubia photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Ever wonder what it’s like to glide the open waters?

Looking to increase strength, to have fun, or just for a change of pace, students are loving SJSU’s new beginning rowing class.

“I enjoy being out on the lake with such beautiful surroundings instead of being in a gym,” says junior kinesiology major Brittany Manrubia.

The idea for the class, now in its second semester, came from Department of Kinesiology Chair and Professor Shirley Reekie.

“Since this is our department’s 150th anniversary year, I did research and came across an attempt to start a rowing club in 1915,” Reekie said. “Starting a class seemed like the right thing.”

According Reekie, a master rower and instructor, the sport incorporates all of the major muscle groups, working the legs, back, and arms.

“There is no other class on campus that works on the physical body,” Reekie said. “It’s truly a whole-body workout.”

On the water, students learn endurance, balance, timing, and the mental and physical aspects becoming a skillful rower. In addition, students learn the value of team work and collaboration.

“I think it is the ultimate team sport because, unlike just about any other team sport, there is no star,” Reekie said. “If you don’t participate and pull your weight, everybody knows about it.”

Interest for the class spawned a rowing club this semester.

“It’s a great place to have fun and learn with others that share the same interests,” says Manrubia, club president. “It’s an opportunity to be competitive and a great way to stay in shape.”

The class is offered to students in any major and during both semesters. The only mandatory requirement is that students know how to swim.