By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Watersports are a natural fit with the South Florida climate and tropical environment, and few sports are as fluid and rhythmic as rowing, while requiring core balance, physical strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance.
Adding to the physical and mental benefits, the Miami Beach Rowing Club (MBRC) offers access to novice or experienced rowers to the Indian Creek, a large sheltered waterway that leads into several canals and Biscayne Bay, stretching across three miles.
The MBRC, located at 6500 Indian Creek Drive is part of the Miami Beach Watersport Center, hosted by Ronald W. Shane Center and offers a Learn to Row program, summer camp, youth and masters rowing and an adaptive rowing program.
Rowing is considered by many as one of the oldest and most prestigious sports, with first rowing races occurring as far back as the Egyptian era. Oxford and Cambridge University organized a competitive rowing race in 1828, and the two schools still compete against one another to this day.
As the MBRC says on their web site, ‘Known as the ultimate team sport, rowing can be experienced in team boats or smaller single and double person boats. Regardless of age or skill level, rowing is one of the world’s best exercises.’
To join the MBRC with a membership, one must have rowing experience, have completed a Learn To Row Session or taken private lessons at the Club. The Learn to Row programs are offered year round and are a two-weekend commitment, costing $195.
Sherab Chodron says on their site, “I highly recommend the Learn to Row series. Coach Chris was concise and clear about basic technique, boathouse and rowing etiquette, and — like everyone else affiliated with MBRC — had a welcoming, helpful attitude towards newbies and experienced rowers alike.”
“The sessions were just the right length of time and always ended on a positive note. As a result, I looked forward to returning for each lesson and joined MBRC without hesitation when the series concluded. Thanks MBRC!”
Each year the Center hosts the Head of the Indian Creek Regatta as well as several collegiate races. The Center is also a popular winter and spring training location for collegiate rowing programs and an international destination for Olympic rowers and kayakers.
The Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, with the mission to promote amateur watersports and offer opportunities to youth in the community to participate in the programs, regardless of ability to pay. Financial scholarships are available for families in need.