Friendships fuel rowing team


The rowing team trains for an eight person competition. Photo credit: Kenta Mcafee

Women's rowing
The Chico state women’s rowing Team practices in their 8 person boat. Photo credit: Kenta Mcafee


Early morning practices in Oroville and a focus on teamwork is the basis for the Chico State rowing team’s success and camaraderie.

The Chico State rowing team does not have their own area to practice at, but is allowed to use the Oroville state park, the Forebay Aquatic Center instead. The clubs practice times range from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and are generally three hours.

The team competes in several events, with the most common event consisting of an eight person team in a single lightweight boat. Men’s rowing club president Skyler Osborne was adamant about the importance of having everyone contribute.

“Rowing is the most team oriented sport, if one person has a bad day, then the entire boat has a bad day,” Osborne said.

To boost teamwork and sportsmanship, the team holds social events outside of practices, and relies on each other for rides to practice and help in the classroom according to men’s rowing coach Rosendo Garibay.

“We do everything together. We’re all teammates and friends who help each other, and it all helps us bond through more than just practice,” Garibay said.

The Chico State rowing team rents a boathouse at the Forebay Aquatic Center, where they are able to store their boats and oars.

The team is able to pay for their coaches and equipment through their $350 registration fee. The team offers payment plans for students, making it one of the most flexible club’s on campus regarding its dues.

Men's rowing
The Chico state men’s rowing team at their practice in Oroville. Photo credit: Kenta Mcafee


Although the struggles of being a freshman can be overwhelming, women’s rowing club president Ashley Silveira is adamant about rowing during a student’s first year, to build lasting relationships and gain a new perspective on the college experience.

“You also get the opportunity to participate in a unique sport that most people will never get to experience, and you learn to work well with a team,” Silveira said.

Osborne was also a proponent of having new students join early, because of his experience with the team.

“When I was a freshman I didn’t have too many friends. I joined the team and stuck with it, and it’s how I met so many great people,” Osborne said.

The team does not have their own medical staff, but are cared for by the coaches, and encouraged to visit the Chico State Health Center. While injuries such as torn ligaments, broken bones, and serious trauma can occur from boats crashing into each other, the team has not experienced these problems.

Silveira graduated last spring with a bachelor’s degree, but extended her education to continue being a part of the team.

Chico State rowing is divided into two teams, varsity and novice. Novice consists of first year rowers, while varsity is composed of athletes with more than one year of experience.

The varsity team will be competing in their first tournament on Oct. 2nd at the Wine Country Classic in Petaluma, California. The novice team will participate in the Head of the American in Gold River, California on Oct. 29.

Kenta McAfee can be reached at OrionSportsEditor or on Twitter @KentaMcAfee.