Rowing Popularity Growing For Tulsa Kids

Sunday, February 1st 2009, 5:38 pm
By: News On 6

By Kyle Dierking,

TULSA, OK -- It pushes you - it's sometimes punishing, but it's a sport that's picking up the pace in Oklahoma.

"Not everybody's idea of fun is to be hit at 60 miles per hour on Friday night," said Tulsa Junior Rowing Club coach Neil Bergenroth.

Rowing is certainly not like football but the single similarity the two sports share: it'll give you a body beating.

"I've been in a lot of football games and (rowing) takes a lot more of your stamina and takes a lot of physical and mental strength," said junior rower Alex Mears.

The Tulsa Junior Rowing Club is a group that's grown to 42 members. It's mainly composed of kids looking for something different than the standard sports of basketball, football or soccer.

"Most of these kids come because they're burned out on other things," Bergenroth said. "They are athletic, they just haven't found out what works for them."

"I had to quit football because I had foot problems," Mears said. "I was just staying home for a month until my mom found rowing. My brother tried it and said it was really fun. A few days later I started doing it and got into it like that."

Just like any other sport, it takes full commitment. The junior rowers train six days a week for a couple hours per day.

"The kids love rowing - rowing doesn't love them," Bergenroth said. "You have to give it all you've got and be strong and stick with it."

Learn to Row Week is February 16th-21st.