Rowers ready to complete stint at European Training Centre
Australia’s 46-strong rowing squad that will contest the 2012 London Olympic Games are now in the final two weeks of their stint at the Australian Institute of Sport’s European Training Centre in Varese, Italy.
The ETC has become a home away from home for the rowers for a number of years now, but has played a crucial part of their build up to the both the 2011 World Rowing Championships and now the London Games.
The Australian team has spent seven weeks at the training base in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons and their success at the 2011 world championships, which saw Australia win ten medals, was largely down to the build up they enjoyed in Italy.
2008 Beijing Olympic Games gold medallist David Crawshay said the ETC had totally transformed the Australian Rowing Team
“The ETC offers Australian sporting teams the chance to train in AIS-like conditions closer to their competition venues and in a much hotter climate than Australia in winter can offer,” Crawshay said.
“For us rowers, this has meant a significant change in a number of areas, such as strength and conditioning, recovery, and sports science/sports medicine.”
The men’s double scull rower, who will attempt to defend his Olympic title with Scott Brennan in just over two weeks time, reflected on the change in training conditions.
“I remember doing rowing ergometer training in tin shed 'sweat boxes', where we were limited in what we did and how much time we spent by the inside temperature,” Crawshay said. “I also remember using makeshift ice baths that could only take one person at a time.
“Now, we can go into an air-conditioned lab to complete our ergometer training before walking about ten paces to the hot and cold pools to recover.
“Having our own devoted gym is a lot better too, as we can now look to make strength gains where previously we'd be hoping to just maintain strength.”
The Australian rowers will arrive in London on July 22 before the first day of the Olympic rowing regatta is held at Eton Dorney on July 28.