STOCKTON — Row by row, students at Health Careers Academy in Stockton are getting a serious workout.
“I like how it all goes in a rhythm,” freshman Jazelle Duran said. “It’s all one movement, one motion.”
The introduction to rowing comes courtesy of a grant that Dr. Pat Tirone, founder of the Delta Sculling Center, pursued for several years.
“For me, this is a four-year dream come true and it’s bigger than four years because I know the power of this sport and where it can take kids, where it has taken me. The power for kids is just unimaginable. I’m just so excited,” she said.
Stockton is the sixth city in the country to be awarded this grant, which provides 20 ergometer (erg) machines and training for teachers like Zeb Gromm to help teach basic rowing skills.
“We’re on the Delta so it’s just an amazing opportunity students don’t know about. They can get out on the water, get a great workout and have fun with friends at the same time. This is just an introduction to them,” Gromm said.
The machines make week-long stops at different Stockton schools so more students can be exposed to the sport.
Health Careers Academy is the third school to have the machines and many students have caught the rowing bug.
“The thought of it sounded crazy because rowing goes with water, but the machine is very interesting to learn all the mechanics that go with it and you get a workout on every single part of your body,” freshman Chyanne Stone said. “You don’t have to skip a certain day. Leg day every day.”
Along with the workout, Tirone says rowing provides lessons in perseverance, discipline and commitment.
“I see them motivated and connected,” she said. “I see them doing it and doing it well. They’re clearly getting a reward back.”