Sri Lanka Launches Coastal Rowing Project

Sri Lanka has taken the first steps towards introducing Coastal Rowing in the country with the initiation of a three-stage development programme launched last week. World Rowing Lead Development Expert for Asia, Chris Perry, visited to begin the process of up-skilling coaches and identifying possible training and racing locations.

Sri Lanka has a long history of classic rowing dating back to the foundation of the Colombo Rowing Club in 1864. Rowing activity takes place amongst schools, universities and military sports clubs and there are number of experienced coaches.

Delivery of the first fleet of coastal boats is scheduled for later this month so, during this first visit, 13 selected coaches attended a 2-day intensive theory seminar covering the additional knowledge required to safely deliver coastal training sessions and the extra skills, such as boat entry and exit, race turns and watership. Particular emphasis was also placed on safety, risk assessment, rescue and recovery.

Site visits were also made to beaches in Colombo, and on the southern coast, in order to identify suitable locations for training and racing. Sri Lanka has many beautiful beaches and a thriving surf and water sports culture. A visit was also arranged to watch the Head of Beira race at the Colombo Rowing Club where Perry was able to meet many student rowers, parents and coaches.

During the next visit planned for August 2024, practical training will begin in the new coastal boats and planning for the selection and training of athletes for the Beach Sprint discipline. 

A big thank you to the Amateur Rowing Association, and the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka for the excellent organisation and hosting, and of course thanks to Olympic Solidarity for the continued support offered for Rowing development.