Schweinbenz and Jago heading to FISU Games in Asia
by Randy Pascal
The reputation of the Laurentian Voyageurs rowing program received another shot in the arm a few weeks back.
At that time, it was announced not only that Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School graduate and Laurentian Female Athlete of the Year Emily Jago
would be part of the women's four team that would be competing at the FISU Games in South Korea, but also that her coach at L.U. would
also be among the Canadian rowing delegation in Asia.
Amanda Schweinbenz joins Dan Bechard (Western) and Ed Fournier (Carleton) in overseeing the 19-athlete roster that will man eight
different crews at the event, which runs from July 3rd to the 14th.
"I really believe in this experience for the athletes," said Schweinbenz on Saturday morning at the Sudbury Canoe Club, assisting with the annual
high-school rowing regatta.
"For some of them, this will be the first international racing experience. For some, it will be their only international racing experience. For most of
them, it will be their first major multi-sport games," Schweinbenz added.
"It will be pretty fantastic, walking into the stadium, having the Canada flag, and wearing Team Canada gear in front of thousands of people."
While Jago is working directly with Bechard, Schweinbenz will help guide the men's lightweight four, men's double and men's pair.
"I'm not looking to re-invent the wheel," she stated. "They come from different programs and I don't need to change everything they've done. What I
envision is working on having them row together, taking a look at their technical abilities and making small adjustments so that they are rowing, in and
out of the water, together, getting the boat to move well."
The athletes under Schweinbenz' watch include representatitives of Brock, Trent, Western and even Oxford (England), where a Canadian studying overseas
has returned to don the national colours.
While Jago has remained in the London area for the summer, continuing her training, Schweinbenz felt safe in summarizing the thoughts of the top Voyageur
rower. "It's a huge deal for Emily," smiled her coach.
"This is her first international event. She has really gotten a lot faster in the past few years. She has really progressed and developed. This is a
great step for Emily to test herself."