A boat powered by oars is one of the simplest and oldest forms of water transportation. The modern form of rowing was developed in late 18th century England. One of the earliest recorded races is the sculling race for the “Doggett’s Coat and Badge,” first held in 1715.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin had a fondness for rowing, which is expressed in the large number of his written works on the sport. In a 1922 publication entitled “Sport and Genius”, he wrote that the intense effort of oarsmen, the harmony and synchronization of their movements and the overcoming of natural barriers make rowing an “ideal sport.” Unfortunately, the first Olympic Rowing events planned for Easter 1896 in Piraeus were cancelled due to bad weather conditions and inadequate international participation. Rowing events for men were first held in the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris, while women’s events were first included in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.
One of the key technological developments that helped advance the sport was the outrigger, which enabled the oars to be ‘rigged out’ from the side of the boat, therefore making it possible to build a narrower and faster boat. Until the invention of the sliding seat in 1857, oarsmen used leather pants and axle grease to slide back and forth easily on their seats. Professional Canadian scullers, including Ned Hanlan, dominated the international scene in the late 1800s, establishing a strong tradition of Canadian success in the sport of rowing.
Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) views the CSG as an important part of the development of athletes, coaches and officials in the domestic competitive stream.
As recognized in RCA's Athlete Development Pathway, the CSG regatta provides a bridge for the junior aged rowers to the Under 23 and Senior A National teams. Many past National Team members have competed at the CSG. It is the opportunity for each province to select and train provincial team coaches who will develop their crews to compete at a Canadian national age-group regatta.
The RCA Umpires Committee also uses the CSG as a top-notch national regatta where the best umpires from each province are brought together to form a truly national jury. The Games provides continuing education and development of officials working towards international status.
The Canada Summer Games is a benchmark regatta for many provinces (and their sports ministries) confirming the ongoing development of athletes, coaches and umpires at the top provincial level.
The intent of the Games is to prepare the next generation of National Team members. The best from each province compete in a multi-sport environment. The Games could be the highlight of the athlete’s career or it could be a stepping stone to the National Rowing Team.