NASSAU Rowing Club hosted its first Lake Cunningham Classic with Canadian Olympic champions Rob Gibson and Andrea Proske at the weekend. Photo: Racardo Thomas
#By BRENT STUBBS
#Senior Sports Reporter
#CANADIAN Olympic champions Rob Gibson and Andrea Proske have decided to bring their coaching expertise to the Bahamas at the Windsor High School and the Nassau Rowing Club.
#The duo had their competitiveness on display on Saturday as the Nassau RC hosted its first Lake Cunningham Classic, a dual meet between the Windsor High School and the Nassau RC.
#When it was all done, Gibson and his Windsor High rowing team emerged victorious over Proske and the Nassau RC. But for both of them, it wasn’t so much about who won or lost, but rather the camaraderie that developed between the two teams.
#Gibson, a 13-year member of rhe Canadian national team who won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, said in the half of the school year that he’s been at Windsor High, he’s been impressed with the performances from his competitors.
#“It was above expectations,” said Gibson, who also participated in both the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “I didn’t know what I was getting into when I first came here.
#“Things are looking good. Things are going in the right direction right now.
#“There was a lot of happy faces on the water after not competing for the past two years because of COVID-19.”
#Proske, who decided to spend her retirement years in the Bahamas after she won a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Toyko, Japan for Canada, said she was pleased with the way the competitors performed on Saturday.
#“It’s so easy to see how well they can compete when they bring their A-game,” Proske said. “For a lot of them, this was more than just rowing a straight line to and fro.
#“It was about developing a friendship and hopefully that will springboard to them competing in some international events in the future.”
#Based on what she’s seen from the competition, Proske said she’s convinced that the Nassau RC has a bright future ahead of them with the competitors involved, which she said was why they hosted the regatta in the first place.
#“The Nassau RC competitors sailed as best as they could,” she said.
#“A lot of the kids came out out and did what they had to do. They stuck to their game plan and we came out with some victories as well.”
#Calling it competition cooperation, Proske said as a former training partner of Gibson, it’s easy for them to work together and they simply want to see the kids perform.
#She noted, however, that the Nassau RC will be back next year bigger and better and hopefully they can take the title from the Windsor High School.
#Gibson said the course on Lake Cunningham is a hidden gem and he’s looking forward to continuing the partnership with the Nassau RC to make the sport a vibrant one in the Bahamas.
#“I’m just happy with what I’ve seen today,” he said.
#“I think we have forged a good working relationship with Windsor School and the Nassau RC, so we will see how we can continue to develop that.”
#Gibson and Proske will again collaborate this summer when they are expected to take a team from the Nassau RC, including competitors from Windsor High, to the CanAmMex in Canada in July.
#It will be the first of many events that the Canadian Olympians hope to get local rowers involved in as they seek to eventully get a team to compete at the Olympics in the future.