Before sunrise, 20 members of the UNIST Rowing Team got together to participate in the summer camp training. The UNIST Rowing Ream is consist of students from all levels including freshmen and seniors. Considering the upper grades usually focus on school works and job interviews, it was inspiring that every grade of member was passionate to join the camp training. Ms. Jung Soon Hong, an undergraduate member of the UNIST Rowing Team says, “I could not join the camp training last year because of personal circumstances, but luckily I did not have to hesitate about joining this year.”
Passionate Summer at UNIST
Rowing Team members arrived down Taehwa River early in the morning. After warm-up exercises, members moved an Eight (A boat designed for eight rowers) and a Four (A boat designed for four rowers) to a riverside. Rowing a boat where the sea water and fresh water meet is not easy since mixed water is heavier than regular river water. However, the UNIST Rowing Team knew how to cooperate and overcome the environmental obstacles. Once they started rowing back and forth for a few times, all members moved like one person on the boat.
Tiger Coach and his athletes
Rowing is an extreme sports. One athlete could lose 1.5 kg of his or her weight by rowing 2 km without resting. Therefore, Mr. Hyun Ok Shin, Coach of the UNIST Rowing Team always gets very sensitive about members’ body conditions. Coach Shin emphasized the importance of drinking salt water instead of iced tap water in order to balance sodium level in the body.
How Rowing got Popular on UNIST Campus
UNIST Rowing Team started as an experience program for students at first. In 2013, rowing was only a part of Leadership Program which was mandatory for every student. However, it got full of participants as soon as they started recruiting team members. Those candidates who wished to join the team visited Chungju Korea Rowing Experience School and participated in the physical training, try-out, and long-distance boat training. At that time in Chungju, UNIST Rowing Team met Mr. Hyun Ok Shin as a coach and both Male Undergraduate Team and Staff Team won the first at 2013 Rowing Competition hosted by Mayor of Busan Metropolitan City. It was only three months after UNIST started rowing program. After the first competition, UNIST established the official undergraduate and staff teams. Both teams directly got busy with training and activities participating in national competitions.
Camp Training for Two Straight Weeks
Students read books and watched videos to understand the basic concept of rowing. However, it was not easy to get used to a real game in the beginning. They tried hard to row a boat fast and directly to the finish line. Coach Hyun Ok Shin says, “Members are participating in the camp have been training for two straight weeks to fix the problems they have and encourage each other before the competition. I am very proud of them, but also feel sorry for them when I see their exhausted faces.” Coach Shin, a former professional rower, has been tried introducing various kinds of training to help improve each member’s abilities and correct their wrong postures since it is possible that members could get hurt by practicing in wrong body postures.
UNISTAR, No Pain No Gain
Putting sunscreen was not enough to avoid painful sunburns during the sizzling summer of Ulsan. It was easy to see how much they have trained by looking at their skin color. Their hands were all bruised and full of blisters. Mr. Gunha Kim, the president of undergraduate rowing team, says, “Members should go to see doctors if they got hurt or sick, but lots of them made their symptoms worse by not treating them properly. I felt sorry and appreciated at the same time when members insisted participating with their injured bodies.”
After camp training, we will keep rowing
What is the attraction of rowing? Mr. Gunha Kim answers the question without hesitating, “It is difficult to row fast on the water, but it is possible to move fast if we have a perfect teamwork on the boat. It is a thrilling moment that we breath in and out at the same time and row the boat to the direction we aim.” UNIST Rowing Team will keep rowing after the summer camp training. They will get on the boat as many as they could to prepare for following competitions. Taehwa River will be full of the UNIST Rowing Team’s passion.