evergreenrowing <steve@...>

In my daily work selling rowing shells I regularly invite people who
are new to rowing to participate in Sound Rowers events. The most
frequent response is "I'm doing this for exercise and I'm not into
racing." In fact, only a few intrepid souls have bought boats from
me and also become regulars at our events. Meanwhile, the number of
boats in our races is smaller than in years past.... check the
numbers from GXS in 1982!

At Mercer Island I tried a new approach which seemed to work well,
and I suggest more of us try this... mentoring. In my case, the new
sculler was my wife, but I figure the approach would help overcome
people's hesitancy to join the fun of S/R events. Basically, I
agreed to stay with my wife the entire time so that she need not
worrry about having to figure out what was going on. The idea could
be extended to:
1. picking up the person and her/his boat
2. driving together to the race
3. setting up and checking in
4. travelling together while ensuring both familiarity with the
course and safety
5. post-race celebration

That said, if anyone knows of someone new to rowing at S/R events
who'd like a mentor, I volunteer. I invite others to volunteer. If
this catches on, we could add a "Getting Started" button on our web
site which tells newcomers how to match up with a mentor.

What do you think?

-- Steve Wells