Community Voice: Program Spotlight - Chicago Indoor Rowing Championships (CIRC) Adaptive Initiative
Indoor rowing has long been recognized for providing a 'complete body' workout and has even been ranked second in a New York Times review of favorite exercise equipment. People with disabilities may not be familiar with the opportunities for indoor or on-water rowing as a competitive sport nor as a fitness possibility. With the introduction of Rowing to the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, the mission of the Chicago Indoor Rowing Championship's (CIRC's) Adaptive Initiative is to build awareness of indoor and on-water rowing among those with disabilities and ultimately initiate local and national program development.
At the inaugural event on February 17, 2007, CIRC brought together several individuals, organizations, and manufactures involved in improving adaptive equipment to serve those with physical disabilities. The informal meeting provided Dr. Ed Melian, an adaptive rowing competitor, an opportunity to test current designs by WinTech Racing and Chosen Valley Canoe while offering insights on product improvement. Equally important, the event provided representatives from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago Park District, as well as us here at NCPAD, a first-time look at indoor rowing and its possibilities for those with disabilities. Set against the backdrop of the 9th Annual Chicago Indoor Rowing Championships, the intent was to provide clarity and insight, hence framing future discussions and opening avenues for cooperative program development. The event exceeded expectations and kicked off important discussions as well as program and hardware development that would make indoor and on-water rowing accessible to all.
Since the launch, the Initiative has participated in multiple events in the Chicagoland area and has, in each case, gained knowledge and insight that has helped to shape its mission. These events have provided introductory hands-on experiences to an estimated 4,000 individuals in an inclusive atmosphere.
|Mikel Vandello is interviewed by Comcast Sportsnet after winning the exhibition race|
|Earl Jordon attempts rowing for the first time ever at CIRC's February 16, 2008 Adaptive Exhibition|
For more information and articles on adaptive/modified rowing equipment, click on the following links or call NCHPAD at (800)900-8086 for contact information:
- Concept II, Inc.
- Chosen Valley Canoe Accessories
- WinTech Racing - the world's leading developer of modified racing shells for the adaptive rower and the official provider of racing shells for the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.
May 29 - June 1
2008 U.S. Paralympic Team Rowing Selection Camp (LTA 4+ only)
U.S. Rowing Elite National Championships
Mercer County, NJ
*Event serves as 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team - Rowing Selection Event for 2x Mixed TA, 1x Men A, 1x Women A
For more information about CIRC and its Adaptive Initiative, go to http://www.chicagoindoorrowingcom or contact John S. Butsch, CIRC Director at jbutsch@ChicagoIndoorRowing.com or (312)731-0441 or (773)525-1030 x203.