The future is looking bright for the Kansas State women’s rowing team.
With the ground-breaking of a new state-of-the-art rowing training center east of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, the opportunities to grow and improve are almost endless for the Wildcats.
The new training center will be 9,000-square feet and cost approximately $2.7 million.
“It’s going to have different tiers of effects in our program,” K-State coach Pat Sweeney said about the training facility that is scheduled to open Aug. 31. “If you take it right from the level of recruiting, we recruit mainly Kansas women who haven’t done the sport. When recruits come to campus, they’ll actually see it’s a sport, it gives them a building.”
The facility will also impact training on new rowers, which Sweeney said is the second tier of effect it will have on K-State rowing.
New rowers need to learn the basics of the sport and need opportunities to learn the techniques before competing — the new training facility will provide that.
The third tier is an important one, Sweeney said, especially during the winter months when training outdoors is not an option. The training center will include two indoor training tanks.
“During the offseason the training level can double,” Sweeney said. “The amount of work that we will get them to do will continue to increase.”
Rowing co-captains senior Adria Ley and junior Aly Bronder are excited for the new rowing center.
“We’ve been waiting for this for like 10 years,” Bronder said. “We haven’t been out on the water this year since Thanksgiving break, so it’s been a couple of months, so to actually be able to have water time when the lake is frozen will be huge for us.”
While other schools around the country are located in places with nicer weather and lakes to practice on throughout the year, K-State is not as fortunate, especially this year with the team getting no time on the water before its first competition last week.
Sweeney said usually the week before competition begins the weather is clearing up and his team has a week or so to practice at Tuttle Creek .
That’s not the case this year, though, as K-State opened it’s 2013 season last Saturday in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma Invitational.
Ley said it’s often difficult to keep up with schools that have constant access to water.
“Now we’re going to be able to compete against those schools that have constant time on the water or other schools that get weather like us but have a tank,” she said. “It gets kind of frustrating sometimes because we’re training just as hard as other teams, but because we’re not allowed time on the water it just doesn’t transfer into race times.”
Sweeney has been asking for the training center since he arrived at K-State.
“(K-State athletic director) John Currie has been very supportive of the team and he’s been pushing towards it,” Sweeney said. “We’ve been waiting for it for a long time, and so it really is an, ‘at last,’ feeling.”