Six young rowers from Seville, Spain, have joined the Peterborough Rowing Club (PRC) for the summer.
The connection was made through the PRC’s head coach Horacio Tendilla, who visited Seville last summer and became friends with the coach of a rowing club there. The two coaches arranged the visit to give the six junior rowers a chance to experience life in Canada, improve their English, and row through the summer — something that’s not easy in Seville due to the region’s hot summers.
The six rowers will be in Peterborough until mid-August. Their visit will culminate with participation in the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Local Journalism Initiative reporter Eddy Sweeney covered the story for Trent Radio. Through a partnership with Trent Radio, Peterborough Currents is making some of Eddy’s stories available on our website. To learn more about the visit and the Peterborough Rowing Club, listen to Eddy’s audio story in the podcast player above or read the transcript below.
Eddy Sweeney 0:01
This summer, six junior rowers from Seville, Spain, will be training and competing with the Peterborough Rowing Club, or PRC. The athletes arrived to Peterborough on Wednesday, June 28, and have jumped right into the PRC lifestyle. I had the opportunity to join the rowers at PRC for an early morning practice. Getting to meet the athletes, the head coach, and the President of PRC. Head coach Horacio Tendilla explains a little about how this all happened.
Horacio Tendilla 0:28
Well, I’m a new head coach of Peterborough Rowing Club. I’m originally from Mexico, and one of my friends’ teammates went to move to Seville, Spain. And last year, I went to visit him and he put me in contact with the Club Nautico Sevilla. That is the club that these guys are from. And became friend of the coach over there. So basically opened the opportunity to invite them into incorporating the program and have a good experience. Basically, I think it’s very rich experience for both. For them for immerse in other culture and other other opportunities of rowing. And for us also to to have this very, very nice visit for them.
Eddy Sweeney 1:20
Another reason for the rowers coming to Canada for the summer, is that they typically have to take the summer off in Seville, as PRC President Brian Love talks about.
Brian Love 1:30
Seville is very hot of course in southern Spain in the summer, and so they actually don’t row in the summer. They row in the fall, spring and winter. But this time of year is when they stop rowing. So they’re glad to be able to come to Canada. One, to have the experience. And second, to be able to continue to row.
Eddy Sweeney 1:51
For the athletes, this trip goes beyond just rowing. Love says that one objective of the trip is for the rowers to improve their English skills. He also thinks it’s important for them to have fun and experience the area when they aren’t rowing.
Brian Love 2:05
Part of the reason for them coming over here is to get a Canadian experience and we’re anxious to be able to show them that beyond the rowing. So we’re already you know, touring them around, and you know they certainly enjoy so far swimming in the water and just being being engaged here.
Eddy Sweeney 2:20
Although the rowers had only been in Peterborough for a few days, they competed in their first regatta on their first weekend here.
Brian Love 2:27
Well, they arrived on a Wednesday and, you know, we charged off to the Dominion Day regatta on Centre Island in Toronto. It’s the 138th regatta of that, very traditional rowing and canoeing regatta. And we just threw them in. Well, there are six of them. They don’t necessarily all — they’re not a bunch of rowers from Seville who are competing as rowers from Seville. They’re mixed in with all of our boats. They’re part of the Peterborough Rowing Club.
Eddy Sweeney 2:58
I also got to speak to one of the athletes, 17 year old Javier Carducci, who talks about what their summer is going to look like.
Javier Carducci 3:06
We are here. We are rowing and we are going to row two regattas. And the last one is the Henley. We are very looking forward to row the last one. That is the most important. We are going to be here 53 days, like a month and three weeks. We will be training like morning and evenings and then for preparing for that regattas and arrive to Spain stronger.
Eddy Sweeney 3:29
I asked Carducci what he was excited to see or do outside the boat.
Javier Carducci 3:34
I really looking forward to go and visit Toronto because it’s really really big. And see all the skyline. We did go the last weekend. But we didn’t stay like too much. Here, all is bigger than in Spain, like the cars are all new brand. And they [inaudible] too much and is everything bigger and beautiful.
Eddy Sweeney 3:56
The Peterborough Rowing Club is an independent nonprofit community organization in its 51st year, having began as an offshoot from Trent University’s rowing program in the early 70s, says president Love. And since then, PRC has a history of producing elite level athletes, making it a great place for these junior rowers to improve their skills. And president Love told me about some of PRC’s top athletes.
Brian Love 4:21
You were asking earlier, yes, a number of our athletes have gone on to row internationally. Grace VandenBroek and Trevor Jones are two Trent students as well as Peterborough Rowing, they’re from the local community of Peterborough. Started the rowing with the Peterborough Rowing Club, and they’re both on the international team now and are in Europe competing, right at this point in time. We’ve had people through the ages row in Olympic competitions. We’ve got some gold medalists, Rob Marlin, from the from the 90s. And so we have a heritage of helping to produce elite athletes going into the elite system, the Canadian rowing system. But also, at the same token, we encourage people to just get out and get on the water and enjoy recreation through the sport of rowing.
Eddy Sweeney 5:10
The rowers from Seville will be here until mid August, culminating their trip by competing in the Royal Canadian Henley regatta in St. Catharines, a prestigious and internationally recognized rowing competition. This has been Eddy Sweeney, reporting for the Local Journalism Initiative, and for CFFF FM 92.7, Trent Radio, here in Peterborough, Ontario.