The Grow Program was established with funding from Sport AUS Move It Australia initiative to get inactive Australians active. The Glen Drug and Alcohol Centre in NSW has now completed two programs and on 30 November some of the men used the indoor rowing skills they have learnt to raise funds for Row4Reg and Movember.

Clocking over 380,000m across two six weeks sessions, the men could have travelled from NSW Central Coast to the Blue Mountains and back. Along the way they set personal bests in the ‘One-Minute Rip’ as well as supported each other in team relays, learning valuable technique and seeing the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise.

A staff member at the Glen gave high praise to the Grow program and the benefits that they can see with the men in the centre.

“We encourage the guys to get involved in local sport, which are all team based and undoubtably have an impact. Indoor Rowing allows the guys to see individual improvement, set personal benchmarks and support each other to achieve them.”

After setting a baseline of meters over one minute, the next five weeks were spent building technique and fitness. There were improvements in the total meters each week until, week six where baseline scores of 276 metres over one minute jumped to well over 300 metres in the same time.

The programs were led by Chloe Congdon who, after coaching for over 16-years on the water, decided to take some time off and coach indoors after being a part of Indoor Rowing at the 2018 Invictus Games. “Witnessing the power of accomplishing goals and being supported through recovery in a sporting environment hit home and I was moved to see the strength indoor rowing had to be inclusive and empowering”.

“Through my own experiences rowing at school, coxing at clubs and coaching I have become a part of a valuable community for the greater part of my life. I believe as a teen, rowing, my crew, and my connection with something that gave me a purpose helped me come through some real challenges life throws out. Later in life, when I faced a significant loss, it was again the rowing community, a crew, and a sense of purpose that helped pulled me through. I wanted to share this experience with others who would otherwise not have access to rowing clubs and communities.

“I have learned more in my coaching during the two six week programs at The Glen than I have in the many years of coaching preceding. I am grateful to have helped so many men become active, but more importantly, I am honoured to have been a part of their accomplishments; smashing their ‘One-Minute Rip’ personal bests, pushing their limits to be a part of the team relays and being supported by their mates. In a gym with 15 men all empowering each other through rowing, I couldn’t help but leave each session uplifted and grateful. “

To find out more about the GRow program, please contact us at [email protected]

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