Sport-Specific Information
Sport-specific information and Technical Packages are available above.


Sport Contacts

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While there are ancient references to rowing as a sport, modern rowing races began in the early 1700s as a competition among the professional watermen who provided ferry and taxi service on the River Thames in London.  Amateur competition began in the 1790s at many schools and universities including Oxford and Cambridge.  Public rowing clubs were founded as early as 1818 with the sport spreading quickly across Europe and into North America.  FISA, the international federation responsible for Rowing, was founded in 1892 and is the oldest international sport federation in the Olympic movement.  Rowing was included in the first modern Olympics in 1896 but the competition was cancelled due to poor weather.  The sport has been in every Olympics since 1900.  

Rowing Facts

  • Sculling – each rower has two oars, one in each hand
  • Sweeping – each rower has one oar held with both hands
  • Coxswain – sits in the boat and helps to steer and coordinate the power and rhythm of the rowers
  • Stroke seat – rower positioned closest to the stern

In rowing, individuals or teams of rowers face the stern of the boat and use oars to propel the boats forward on the water.  There are two main forms of rowing; sweeping, where each rower has one oar, and sculling, where each rower has two oars.  There are different size boats for groups of eight, four, and two athletes, as well as singles.   Boat classes include single sculls, double sculls, and quad sculls, as well as sweeping boats in pairs, fours, and eights.  In some boats, including the eight and four, a coxswain is used to help steer the boat and give direction to coordinate the power and rhythm of the rowers.  Success in rowing requires strength, endurance, technique, and teamwork.

Rowing at the BC Games includes male and female athletes under 17 years of age.  The competition is intended to provide a first multi-sport Games experience for developing athletes, so those who have competed with a National Team or who have attended a Western Canada or Canada Games, are not eligible.  Rowers compete in three different events: a skills event, a 1000m time trial, and a 500m match race.  Each event will be contested by three categories of boats: women’s doubles, men’s doubles, and mixed coxed quads (two men and two women rowers, plus a coxswain of either gender).  All events will use sculling boats, where each rower uses two oars.

Rowing BC is a provincial sport organization comprised of community, secondary, and post-secondary educational rowing clubs throughout British Columbia.  Notable BC Games alumni include 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Kyle Hamilton (Richmond) and Olympian Heather Mandoli (Kelowna).