Row­ing suc­cess

The Compass - - Front Page - BY CHRIS LEWIS ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

A row­ing team from Har­bour Grace that par­tic­i­pated in the Re­gatta dur­ing the 1990s was in­ducted into the Har­bour Grace Sports Hall of Fame last week. The Compass spoke with for­mer team mem­ber Diane Williams about how it felt to be rec­og­nized by the en­tire com­mu­nity.

A row­ing team from Har­bour Grace will of­fi­cially be rec­og­nized in the town’s Sports Hall of Fame.

The 1993 Ladies’ Row­ing Team spent sev­eral years dur­ing the ‘90s com­pet­ing in re­gat­tas all over the prov­ince. The team, which con­sisted of five reg­u­lar row­ers and two ex­tras, was in­ducted into the Har­bour Grace Sports Hall of Fame dur­ing the an­nual town awards re­cep­tion May 11.

For­mer mem­ber Diane Williams told The Compass it was more than just a team – the women felt more like a fam­ily.

“We bick­ered and ar­gued some­times, for sure,” said Williams. “But at the end of the day, we were like sis­ters, and that hasn’t changed af­ter all these years. Not all of us still live (in the area), but ev­ery time we see each other again it’s like a fam­ily re­union.”

Williams de­scribed the in­duc­tion as a mo­ment of pride. The ac­co­lade came as some­thing of a sur­prise, but the en­tire team felt hon­oured and re­spected by the town they com­peted and prac­ticed in for so many years.

Williams de­scribed the pride

that came from long days and nights of prac­tice, when the team would get to­gether and row for hours dur­ing the spring, sum­mer and fall sea­sons, and head to the gym dur­ing the colder win­ters.

“It was a lot of train­ing, and a lot of work, but we loved it,” said Williams. “It never felt like a chore – it was some­thing we

all loved to do, and we all loved to do it to­gether.”

Williams at­tributes most of the team’s suc­cess to coxswain Fred Chafe.

“Fred was the heart and soul of the team,” she said. “He loved it just as much as we did, and we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did with­out his help. He was al­ways there, mak­ing

sure we did what we had to do. We re­ally owe it all to Fred.”

The row­ing team was in­ducted into the Hall of Fame along­side the Ban­ner­man Lak­ers hockey team, of which Danny Clearly was a for­mer player.

Don Reg­u­lar, MC of the Har­bour Grace Town Awards Re­cep­tion, said the recog­ni­tion was long over­due.

“Af­ter all these years, I think it’s about time these ladies saw the ac­knowl­edge­ment. Af­ter all the re­gat­tas and count­less hours of prac­tice, the team will for­ever be re­mem­bered in the Hall of Fame.”

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COMPASS

Row­ing team mem­ber Alice Pye ac­cept­ing a cer­tifi­cate on be­half of the team as they are in­ducted into the Har­bour Grace Sports Hall of Fame.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Diane Williams with her cer­tifi­cate.

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