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A sit down with Rowing Canada
May 26, 2017 | by Ashleen Bandesha

What better way to learn more about rowing than to ask the experts?

Photo: Team Canada’s Jill Moffatt, Kristin Bauder, Christine Roper, Susanne Grainger lounging in the Fortius Bistro between training sessions

This past week we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with National rowing athletes Maxwell and Aaron Lattimer, Jill Moffatt, Kristin Bauder, Christine Roper, and Susanne Grainger. The Rowing Canada team was across the street at Burnaby Lake all week for a training camp, spending their evenings and downtime time with us in the Fortius Lodge and Bistro.

After learning a bit more about the sport, we discovered that there is much more to rowing than meets the eye.



What drew Christine Roper into rowing was the teamwork oriented nature.

“[Although rowing is] very physically challenging and demanding…you get a sense of working with other people and develop relationships”, Roper explained as she smiled among her teammates. “When you go through something like a sport like this, it brings you closer together by virtue of going through painful, tough experiences”.

The close-knit women’s group also shared some interesting facts about how they got into the sport of rowing.

Kristin Bauder started rowing in her last year of university and Susanne Grainger initially scoffed at the idea of taking it up after a friend suggested it to her. Roper encouraged people to simply “try it” because many might not even know that it may be an avenue for them.

“There’s some people on the team that have been rowing for over 10 years and some [are in] their third or fourth year [of] rowing” Roper explained.

There was a shared theme of inclusiveness when the athletes described the fundamentals of rowing. Spending more than half the year competing against their other teammates, rowers must adopt an individualistic approach to their training regiments. However, once they form a rowing crew, the true fundamentals of teamwork are vital to success.



Photo: Rowing Canada training at Burnaby Lake during their stay at Fortius

Described as a “top-to-bottom” sport, rowing encompasses many different aspects of physical endurance. “[There is] cardio based intensity, but also strength based intensity”, Aaron Lattimer explained. “[This means] spending a lot of time in the weight room [to master] exercises that complement and enhance the movements done on water”.

Rowing requires just as much mental preparation as it does physical. A proper visualization plan helps rowers prepare for the pain as well as was what to expect when they’re in the course.

Ultimately, it comes down to mentally “embracing the [physical] pain” and handling it the best you can, Roper laughed.

As the Canadian Summer Games are fast approaching, an integrated approach to training is certainly required to excel on the race course. In addition to training fitness levels and mental preparation, there is also nutrition, recovery, injury prevention, and treatment.

“Whenever you’re not rowing, you’re doing something else that is geared to making you faster” described Roper.



Photo: Maxwell and Aaron Lattimer, brothers from Delta BC, heading inside their Fortius Lodge Room

Rowing Canada’s stay at the Fortius Lodge provided the athletes the ability to fully integrate their week-long camp.

The rowers seemed at ease and even described their stay at Fortius as “world class” as they had everything “at their fingertips” whether it was the use of our practitioners, Training Centre, Bistro, Lodge or our neighbouring facilities.

“Cutting down on travel and being able to maximize rest and recovery in between sessions made [training] really effective. Each day was supported in the right manner” described Maxwell.

The athletes gleamed with gratitude as they continued to describe their week at Fortius. “It’s honestly the best facility in Canada to have one, the lake there and [second], the indoor training facility” smiled Maxwell. “Whenever we are in Burnaby, Fortius always has its doors open for us, and we want to be here”.

With the busy months ahead for Rowing Canada, we wish them good luck and hope to see them soon. We also encourage other sports teams to book the Fortius Lodge to maximize the effectiveness of their performance camps.


The Fortius Lodge is located on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the Fortius facility. It is designed with sports teams and training camps in mind, but is open to anyone wanting to stay with us.

Visit our website to learn more about the Fortius Lodge and to book your future Training Camp or overnight stay.