By James Keller
Imagine rowing for 24 hours straight but not going anywhere.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t sound as disappointing when you’re the University of Calgary Rowing Club and you’ve raised over $2,000 for new equipment.
The Erg-A-Thon, which began Thurs., Sept. 27 at noon and continued through to Friday at the same time, consisted of members from the club stationed on two rowing machines, called ergometers. Each participant took pledges and the goal was to keep rowers moving constantly throughout the event. Members also raised money from people who dropped by wishing to donate.
"I’m out of it," said a panting Krysti Daniels after the event, who stayed overnight to row for multiple shifts and keep the team constantly moving. "We’re all really tired, but it was a huge success."
According to Daniels, the event finished with few hangups. The most serious problem occurred early Friday morning, when there weren’t enough people available to fill time slots. Otherwise, rowers faced fire alarms and the occasional patron from the Den.
"We got a few people from the Den so there was a bunch of drunk people there, but they gave a lot of money," laughed Daniels.
Jodie Siever, a director and veteran member of the club, echoed the satisfaction of how things panned out.
"It was a lot of fun and the students were very supportive," she said. "A lot of people couldn’t believe we were rowing for 24 hours straight."
The student body definitely showed support as close to $800 was dropped off while the event was going on. Although the exact total from pledges is not yet known, it undoubtedly accounts for a sizable portion.
The purpose for the fundraiser was to raise $3,500–half the cost of a double rowing boat. And although the money raised probably won’t exceed that total, Siever admitted it’s a very good start.
"We need new equipment regardless of whether we’re sanctioned [by the university] or not." said Siever. "But right now, our goal is just to train really hard."