Dear Alumni, Parents & Friends,
From the quiet Wabashika, Purdue Crew remains in a holding pattern while the country struggles to find a way to re-open and get back to the business of living. Purdue Crew is poising itself to be ready for the call “LINE-UP!” …. “COUNT DOWN!” …… “HANDS-ON”!
The one & only Spring 2020 Row on the Wabash
Before comments on our re-opening, I am very encouraged with the prospect of the largest Varsity Men’s squad in recent history. With the focus on retention and recruiting, there will be nearly 30 of last year’s Freshman/Novice men joining the Varsity this fall. Adding in the new Seniors and Juniors, the varsity men’s squad will be at the 50-member mark. There are 4 coxswains in this group who will be instrumental in developing and managing this squad.
In a zoom call with the soon to be new sophomore on this past Sunday, a group of 27 were all very excited to “earn” the respect of the new Junior and Seniors as varsity athletes. They made it very clear, that missing the spring racing season did not allow them to show their ability as a normal pre-step to joining the varsity. With that kind-of-attitude, they will quickly push out of the 4th and 5th boats into the JV and the 3V. This push up the ladder will only make the V8 faster.
Purdue’s Boathouse will come to life as Indiana’s Governor Holcomb phases his Hoosier populous back into activity in 5 steps. We are Phase 3 which went into effect on May 24 with the last 2 phases being effective on June 14 and finally July 4. President Daniels plans to have students on campus and in the classroom starting this fall.
Phases criteria affecting Recreation & Wellness (i.e. Purdue Crew) are Phase 3. Gyms & Fitness Open with restrictions:
- Screen employees daily
- Employees must wear face coverings
- Class sizes or equipment must be spaced to accommodate social distancing
- Equipment must be cleaned after each use
- Limit class sizes
- Playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, and similar facilities may open with social distancing guidelines in place
Social gatherings of up to 100 people may take place following the CDC social distancing guidelines.
Phase 4 & 5 are very similar with exception of the social gatherings size goes to 250 people and then finally gatherings over 250 people on Independence Day.
As you read down through the restrictions, class size, spacing equipment and sanitizing equipment after each use will permit land workouts. Finding an acceptable accommodation for water workouts that minimizes risk for the rowers & coxswain will be up in the air for a while. If we had a dozen or so singles, that would eliminate the social distancing aspect of our sport, the rowers would most likely be better rowers and/or swimmers. Coxswain steering would also improve.
Realistically, if the NCAA opens the door for fall team sports and competitions, then Purdue Crew has a very good chance of close-to-normal operations for fun on the Wabash. Naturally, President Daniels will have specific guidance for ICA teams which will direct club sport operations.
To be ready, “Touch Points” are being minimized or eliminated in the Boathouse. This will not be an insignificant cost but it must be managed. While the crew is blessed with indoor plumbing, all stools, urinals, sinks & towel dispensers will be upgraded to “hands free” automatic operation. Bay doors are being considered for remote operation. In addition to being hands free, there is increased safety by reducing the opportunity for the chain to “jump-off” the cog & the door coming down on its own. Additionally, the Boathouse doors will likely be propped-open during workout times.
In the end, our society will be living in more sanitary conditions than ever before. And that will be outstanding! I still believe in the value of the adage “that everyone needs to eat a pound of dirt” during their lifetime. I’m a firm believer in the body adapting to the stress placed on it. If you’d like chat about our return to “on the water” activity please feel free to give me a call.