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It is necessary not to work, but to work like a slave in rowing, 


How to prepare for a home Euro 


In the early September the European Championship in rowing among athletes under 23 years old will be held in Brest. Competitions of this level are not new for the Brest rowing channel: in 2009 similar competitions have already been held there, but among adults. And in 2010 the Youth World Rowing Championship also took place in Brest.

What is expected from the growing up generation in general and from the European Championship in particular and how to assemble the crew, which will give the results, - in the material of the magazine «?????time».


14 Olympic sports and emphasis on women's rowing 

 It is believed that even walls help at home, and for any athlete, who participate in home competitions, support is provided. To what extent such a message is justified everyone judges by their own examples, and Senior coach of the national team of Belarus in rowing Anatoly Lebed thinks that there is a certain advantage in hosting European Championship in Belarus:

- Home European Championship allows us to put on the competition more crews than usual. We are planning to have 13 boats. Not all the athletes’ level is so high, but for the development of this kind of sport, for motivation it is worth giving a chance even to those who are slightly weaker.

In 2010, when we hosted the World Youth Championship, we exhibited all possible crews, even young men were involved in the participation.

Now we will not intentionally expand the application as much as possible, because this does not make sense. What is the benefit of involving the athletes, which will take the last places at home competitions?

Anatoly Lebed says that  24 countries will come to the championship in Brest. And immediately denotes the strongest:

- Favorites are traditional: Germany, Great Britain, Romania. All of these countries have good schools of rowing. And, of course, many of them can allow huge monetary investment in rowing, since this kind of sport is rather expensive.

In Belarus investment is also good enough, so we are not complaining. The main thing is to manage money properly.

According to the senior coach of the national team, The Brest Championship of Europe includes 22 classes of  boats. 14 of them are the Olympic kinds.

At this stage we mainly focus on women's rowing, because in the Belarusian rowing the ratio of men and women is about 35 by 65 percent in favor of men.

Therefore, rivalry is much lower in the women’s rowing. It is necessary to tighten the number and the level of rivalry. For example: winners at the recent European Championships among juniors were three Belarusian crews - two men's and one women’s.

The European Championship in Brest, along with the World Cup, is one of the main competitions of the season for us.



Not to lose a young athlete is the main thing 

 Anatoly Lebed devotes his life to the Belarusian rowing and says that the youth team can often be at training camps, being "scattered" throughout the country:

- In the middle of the last month, athletes were preparing in three cities: Brest, Zaslavl and Gomel. In Brest there is a good pair "four", which was generally youthful a year ago. They were still youth when they participated in the youth European championship and took the 2nd place. It is the good index.

Specialist, discussing the forthcoming home Euro and prospects of the Belarusian team, notes that the interim period from the junior into adult sport is the important period for many reasons. And there are many difficulties:

We have a structure: children's schools and a school of the Olympic reserve. The interaction between them is well established. And further goes the period from 19 to 23 years. This period is a total failure since there is a big drop-out rate. Someone chooses study, someone simply does not maintain demands, which are much higher in adult sport.

When a person moves to the adult level, he starts from the very beginning. And it is impossible to compare the 19-year-old oarsman to the 22-year-old: there will definitely be a huge difference between them. Moreover, there are selection criteria such as an evaluation of the functional data. Just imagine: the distance is 2 kilometers, for which an oarsman needs to do about 250 strokes (each of them is about 50 kilograms).

Rowing is not an easy sport. Not everyone is ready to work. By the way, weight and height are also playing big role in this sport. Rowing is associated with endurance and strength. It is necessary to wait, endure and work. The results will appear later.

Of course, we have young people who are engaged in this kind of sport.  Among the guys, for example. The main thing is not to lose them in this

interim period. It should be mentioned that women on the contrary, are stronger than men in the category under 23 years old.

Anatoly Lebed states that among the oarsmen there are a lot of those who were born in countryside. There is reason for this:

- If in cities many parents look very narrowly and want their children to go to school, then in the countryside parents do not mind that their children devote life to the sport and train a lot. In general, I believe that in rowing it is not enough just to work. An oarsman must work hard in order to achieve desirable results.



Only a professional is able to assemble a team 

Whatever the sport is, it is not an easy task to create a team. But it is harder to assemble a team, where each person should make a decision in a fraction of a second and interact synchronously.

Senior coach of the national rowing team Anatoly Lebed knows about all aspects of this process at firsthand:

- There are different ways of creating a team: athletes can row well and smoothly in one boat, but not to communicate in life.

In general, our kind of rowing is more team sport, if compared with the same rowing on kayaks. Some can say: «Academic rowing, rowing on kayaks…They are equal». No, they are not the same! It is all about different approaches, different psychology.

Team of Eight is composed of eight different people. It seems easily: take to the team any person and everything will go further. In fact, a coach needs to choose a person, who sits ahead, who is in the middle, who is the eighth number that will set the rhythm of the race. And the seventh should support the eighth. Everyone in the boat should have a single rhythm. Only a good specialist is able to decide where the oarsman should be seated in a boat so that different people can become one team, where everyone knows their functions.

The coach in the Gomel center of the Olympic reserve Alexander Khalyavko tells us about one of these teams.This is a women's four, which, according to forecasts of specialists, should fight for medals at home European Championship. And Alexander Khalyavko is the coach of this team of four.  Experts, though they place their hopes on this crew, do not dismiss rivals. And Alexander Khalyavko tells us how this team was formed:

-At first we had three groups of women. The «deuce» and «four» were formed from these groups. The women’s «four» includes two Homel and two Mogilev women. They started their own way in sport there. The selection took place in the framework of the republican competitions.

"Deuce", which came to the finish first, remained the same. The teams who took the 2nd and 3 rd places composed the one boat. They understood such changes. And this "four" has already won the Belarusian championship in the group under the age of 23. Girls know each other for a long time: they went through many competitions and difficulties together. Fortunately, they are calm and ready to work. I noticed that it is better for them to work in «four» rather than in «deuce». And the results are better at this stage.

Anatoly Lebed comments:

- I would like to repeat that rowing is a team sport. Therefore, the team does everything together. Every spring we form crews without any prejudice. Our task, as coaches, is to determine what is better and more effective for an athlete: «deuce», «four» or something else.

And Alexander Khalyavko continues:

- I can say that the Gomel «deuce» is slightly stronger, but the Mogilev woman Anastasia Semenova, who is the oldest in the team and, by the way, the most experienced, is able to give advice to the younger ones. Before moving to the adult level. This European championship is almost the last chance for her to show herself among the youth.


Home Euro is responsibility, and rowing is a part of life 

We turn to the athletes from the «four» in order to make the puzzle of the team’s mood to be completed. Anastasia Semenova and Daria Novikova are both from Mogilev and have known each other for a long time. They started their sport path together with the help of the same coach. Anastasia is the eldest in the boat, since she is in rowing for the ninth year.

Daria is the youngest, but she has exiting past with 6 years of training. Daria remembers how she and Anastasia became teammates:

- There was a case when we both fell ill and did not participate in the formation of crews. And then it turned out that we appeared to be in the same boat.

- And in the «four» we have been rowing since the middle of June. We do not have conflicts, work is comfortable, - adds Anastasia. - We try to adapt to each other, try something new, if it does not work out.

Both girls strongly believe that the main thing in rowing is the desire to train, which was instilled by the coach.

-Yes, an athlete has to restrain himself in some way, eat healthy and follow the schedule. But I like it. Sport is a part of life for me, - admits Daria Novikova. But at the same time, both girls note that there is a good motivation: the desire to get to the Olympic Games.


The girls become more assembled when we talk about the forthcoming home championship. Anastasia talks about the location of the upcoming competitions:

- We are familiar with the rowing channel in Brest for a long time. There often blows the wind and weather is unpredictable. But it is not our first time there.

- There is a huge responsibility on us. The championship holds at home, - adds Daria. - We want to achieve the maximum result, not to let anyone down. Our parents will come, they will support us. It is necessary to show them of what we are really capable.


Text: Sergey Solonkevich

Photo: Maria Kozhdan

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