Olympic rower Joy Ward fera (left) takes to the water of Jim Smith lake with Rockies Rowing Club member Kristen Wilson at a training session Saturday

Olympic rower Joy Ward fera (left) takes to the water of Jim Smith lake with Rockies Rowing Club member Kristen Wilson at a training session Saturday

Cranbrook Olympic alumnus joins Rockies’ rowers

On the eve of the Olympics, it was fitting that Cranbrook's Rockies Rowing Club got a visit from one of Cranbrook's legendary rowers.

Barry Coulter

On the eve of the XXXI Olympiad, which commences this week in Rio de Janeiro, it was fitting that Cranbrook’s Rockies Rowing Club got a visit from one of Cranbrook’s legendary rowers.

Joy Ward Fera, who was on Canada’s first ever women’s Olympic rowing team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, joined the rowers Saturday morning for an extra training session at Jim Smith Lake.

“I’m always excited to come back to Cranbrook,” Ward Fera said, “and see the progress with the kids here and touch base with Roberta Rodgers and others who’ve helped birth this club, wish the kids well, and get out rowing. My hands have grown soft in the last month.”

As well as an Olympic rower, Ward Fera was a medallist at the world champions (1978 and 1979). She’s a member of the Cranbrook Olympic rowing pantheon that includes Archie MacKinnon (1956, Melbourne) and Ben Rutledge (2004, Athens; 2008, Beijing).

She always gets a charge when the Olympiad comes around, but this year has a special significance. One of her crewmates for many years, Tricia Smith, is now President of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

“She’s a fine, fine gal — she rowed in four Olympics, she’s an Olympic silver medallist, and a dear friend,” Ward Fera said. “And I’ve already circled my calendar for 4 a.m., August 12, and 5 a.m. Pacific time Saturday. August 13 to cheer on Canadian crews in the finals. I’m really excited, wish I could be there.”

The Rockies Rowing Club, which rows out at Jim Smith Lake, continues to grow. It’s comprised of more than a dozen rowers, two of whom took up the sport last year and are looking to compete in the 2018 B.C. Summer Games.

Rowing Canada has lent the club two singles boats and a quad (four-person boat) for the club’s fleet. Coach Roberta Rodgers says these are touring boats, designed for long distance and stability in the water, thus good for training and for lessons.

Another quad hads been purchased from the Vernon Rowing Club, with the help of a generous donation from the Regional Distict of East Kootenay.

As well as competitive training, the Rockies Rowing Club offers a package of rowing lessons for recreation, for youth and adults. Contact Roberta Rodgers at rdmrodgers@cyberlink.bc.ca

“Rowing can be started at any time in life — it’s a late entry sport, really,” Ward Fera said. “No one has to compete, they can just row for pleasure. And there’s a special bond with people who row, with rowing crews.”

Opening ceremonies for the Rio Olympics are set for Friday, August 5. Rowing events, in which Canada is always a medal contender, begin Saturday, August 6.

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read