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Barrhead teen among best rowers in the province

Adonis Pederson rows his way to second at the Alberta Indoor Rowing Championship
Adonis Pederson, pictured here at a training session with the Edmonton Rowing Club finished second in the Alberta Indoor Rowing Championship that was held in Blackfalds on March 5.

BARRHEAD – A little less than two years after being introduced to the sport, a Barrhead teen is now among the best indoor rowers in the province. 

On March 5, Adonis Pederson, 14, finished second in the Alberta Indoor Rowing Championship in Blackfalds. 

The sport simulates rowing on actual water by connecting indoor rowing fitness machines in series to the Internet, which is then broadcast to a video screen. 

Adonis competed in the Junior B class in the 15-17 division and rowed 2,000m with a time of 7:28.80. 

"It's a very draining, athletic competition," he said. "There were some very tough competitors there, and I am very happy that I was able to do so well against that type of competition." 

Adonis was first introduced to the sport when he enrolled in a learn-to-row program, a multi-session introduction to the sport sponsored by the Edmonton Rowing Club, with many of the sessions taking place on the North Saskatchewan River. 

His mother Jennifer, a former competitive rower with the University of Alberta, said they were looking for an activity for him to stay active. 

"He tried everything short of hockey but nothing fit," she said.  

However, Jennifer said that previously Adonis had shown an aptitude for cross-country running and thought because of his build — he is a lanky six-foot-one — he might be successful at rowing. 

"It can be hard for kids sometimes to find their thing," she said. "It came very naturally to him, but more importantly, he loves it." 

The following summer, Adonis joined the Edmonton Rowing Club juniors program and teamed up with his partner Liam (from Edmonton) to take part in his first competition, the Dinos Sprints hosted by the University of Calgary Rowing Club.  

The pair competed in an open mens' category and placed sixth out of 14 teams. 

"It was their first-ever race," Jennifer said. "And they beat grown men and university teams at 14-years-old." 

Due to COVID, the club temporarily scaled back its junior program, concentrating on individual rowing, but as things started reopening and more youth sports were allowed, Adonis and his program mates were able to resume training in multi-boats, such as quads and the eights, which really helped their progress, Jennifer said. 

Currently, Adonis practices four days a week with the Edmonton Rowing Club. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, at least in the winter season, are devoted mostly to dry-land training. 

"We are given a workout to do on the rowing machines while Sunday is devoted to team-building exercises and doing circuits outside," he said. "So far, on most Sundays, we have been able to practice on the river. You just have to dress for the weather." 

As for the future, this summer Adonis plans to enter competitions in Regina, Sask, Kenora, Ont, and Victoria, B.C. 

And in the long-term, he hopes to get a rowing scholarship to pursue his education, noting several universities have good rowing programs in Canada, the U.S. and the United Kingdom. 

"And then perhaps, the Olympics," he said. 


Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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