Freshman year of high school, my older sister slipped me a note in the hallway before my first day on the rowing team. The note outlined what to expect, what not to do, and even a few words of encouragement. One tip I’ll always remember was to carry an extra pair of socks in your backpack. They can easily get soaked on the docks.
Wet socks or not, I know I’m one of the lucky ones — someone who has discovered the sport and community of crew.
Now, Worcester-area kids as young as middle-school age have an opportunity to get on the water and try their hands at the sport, thanks to Lake Quinsigamond Community Rowing (LQCR).
I sat down with “Woo Crew” head Coach Richard Stavros — the district-wide team is officially called Worcester Public High School Crew — to discuss exciting recent changes in LQCR’s offerings to area young people. The “Junior” program, which is for high schoolers, is being expanded to more schools in the area. Meanwhile the organization is making a separate push to get more city middle schoolers introduced to crew, offering programs for the fall and spring rowing seasons.
Stavros is an alumnus of St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury, where he rowed for four years in the 1960s. After graduation he coached the Worcester State College rowing program from 1971 to 1980, and has been head coach of Worcester Crew for almost 20 years now. Stavros has overseen the involvement of the team in the New England Junior & High School Regional Championship Regatta in the fall as well as the state championships in the spring, which are open to all public and private clubs and teams.
In other words, he’s your go-to for all things related to local rowing and the lake.
“This is a lifetime sport that I’m very passionate about, and I want to share it with others” Stavros said.