Pontano’s Club Corner: Rowan’s Close-Knit Crew Club will Host Their Biggest Event of the Year

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Rowan's Crew Club during the university's Homecoming Banner contest. This is just one way the club gets involved on campus. - Photo / Maggie Beleskas

The crew club is a small but mighty club that is hoping to get more recognition at Rowan University. 

Established in January 2019, this club has blossomed from a group of close friends into a family. Daniel Pakrad, the senior treasurer, explains what the club means to him. 

“My favorite part of crew is the people that I get to meet,” Pakrad said. “Without the club, I wouldn’t have been able to meet such great people.” 

Along with great friendships being made in the club, a member can also grow as a rower and become more fit. Taylor Fest, a junior, explains how she noticed changes within herself and her friendships from when she joined the club. 

“This season has been the best season because we are finally getting back into the swing of things after a long break,” Fest said. “I have seen growth in my abilities to erg and also as a person due to the fact that I have made long-lasting friendships through the club.”

Experience in crew is not needed in order to join, as Pakrad, Fest, and current club president Sara Durante did not have any prior experience with the sport.

Durante got involved when she helped her friend to start the club. She explains how throughout the years her positions have changed within the club, but her mission of raising awareness of the sport remained the same. 

“I was always in the club as co-creator,” Durante said. “I was originally the treasurer on the E-Board, but I was always in charge of delegating and coaching the team. I more so worked with the members on the team to relay information and deal with any internal issues. This made it easy to naturally transition to president after my roommate left the team in 2020. I took over all responsibilities for the team during COVID and it only enhanced my love for the team and how much it meant to me.” 

Under the leadership of Durante, the club grew to about 20 members. The mission is to teach each member how to row while having fun and staying in shape.

One way the team is trying to draw even more interest to their club is through their first “Ergathon” since the start of the pandemic.

“An ergathon is a competitive-paced race in meters on a rowing machine or erg,” Durante said “This will be our second-annual ergathon with many more to come… There are beginner and expert erg races for 1k and 2ks.”

Overall, the backbone of this club is the team members’ friendship. Anyone can join if they want to make new friends and get fit at the same time. Students can start getting involved at their ergathon on Saturday, April 23, at 12:30 a.m. as it is held at the REC Center.

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