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Canberra Lakes RC – Para-Rowing Update

See below a great note from Cameron Zellner’s mother, Karen, to Capital Lakes Rowing Club and their para-rowing program. Great work by Rowing ACT, CLRC and their coaches.

“Cameron Zellner joined CLRC’s Para-Rowing program when it started in September 2013 in its present form. His coaches have been teaching patiently, breaking down rowing skills into the smallest components and slowly adding one new step at a time. Thanks to a Lords Taverners Grant for Young Athletes with a Disability, Cameron now rows several times a week with his current coach, Elliott Bowyer. She has been sitting on the back of the catamaran to physically prompt Cameron and ensures he learns good rowing technique. When Cameron first started, he found it difficult to manipulate the oars and hold the rowing rhythm for more than a couple of strokes. He can now manoeuver the boat around a set course and maintain a steady rowing rhythm for many minutes. In September, Cameron went for his first independent row in the catamaran and is thrilled to be finally be rowing “on his own”.

Rowing helps Cameron stay calm and focussed throughout the day. This increased focus allows him to achieve his full potential at school, at home and when out in the community. When calm, Cameron can communicate better, finds decisions easier to make and can cope better with change. Over the last two years, rowing has also significantly improved Cameron’s motor planning of both gross and fine motor activities.

I want to thank Cameron’s past and present coaches Hannah MacKenzie, Charlie Barton, and Elliott Bowyer and all of the facilitators for their dedication to the para rowing programs. I also want to thank all Club members for their no-fuss positive support and their words of friendship which are offered whenever Cameron is at the Clubhouse. Cameron does not always respond with a long conversation but he treasures these interactions. CLRC is the only place Cameron can be himself and be a regular member of a community group. Rowing is the highlight of Cameron’s week. Cameron is also keen to help out at the club he loves and cleans the dock each Friday afternoon during school term. He has been doing this happily for over a year now.

Much can be achieved with small steps, patience, and persistence. We expect Cameron will transition out of the catamaran into a single scull with pontoons by the end of the season. There is nowhere else Cameron would rather be than rowing through still water early in the morning. It is already apparent that rowing independently is going to have a profound impact on Cameron’s confidence and self-esteem. Many thanks to everyone at CLRC. — Karen”