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Middle school students learn to row from SRA coaches

Schuylerville Middle School students are learning how to use their bodies efficiently, improve their cardiovascular endurance and increase strength and stamina, all while having fun. It’s all part of a weeklong program presented by the Saratoga Rowing Association. For the past three years, SRA coaches have brought rowing machines to local schools to introduce rowing as part of the physical education program.

“Our goal is to show kids how to use the machine properly, so that in the future when they go to a gym they aren’t intimidated by the equipment and know how to use it to complete a successful workout,” said SRA coach Manny Valentin.

Valentin, along with Coach Aja, Coach Savannah and Coach Billy, have been taking over physical education classes since the beginning of November. They say their approach to teaching is through guided discovery.

“It’s important to let kids figure it out,” Valentin said. “We like to get out of their way and step in if we see a problem or teachable moment. The students have been awesome. They are polite, listen and are eager to try it out.”

Valentin said he enjoys showing students how rowing can be both a total body workout and a lot of fun.

“If a person uses the machine correctly, they’re using 86 percent of their muscles with the exercise. It’s a lifelong sport that is non-impact,” Valentin said. “The first step is learning the exercise in the gym, but for those who enjoy rowing, the real fun is when you get out on the water and exercise while being outdoors with friends.”

SRA has programs for children and adults of all ages. For more information, click here. Check out the video below to see highlights from SRA’s visit to Schuylerville Middle School.