Front Cover - clockwise from top left, crews from: 1973, 1989, 2014, 1978 and 1979. Remainder all 2014.
celebrating our history As we celebrate 50 years of rowing at Ridley College, one can only marvel at the level of excellence this programme has achieved. This record of achievement is superseded only by the effort and commitment displayed by our oarsmen and oarswomen.
As many of you well know, rowing is not like many other sports. An athleteâ€™s engagement with rowing transcends the on-water workouts or dry-land training. Responsibility and organization are integral to the success of the individual and of the crew. Training in the early mornings while others sleep and practicing through inclement weather conditions only begin to indicate the obligation to the task.
We are excited to celebrate this special milestone for many reasons. Not only has Ridley College rowing been arguably one of Canadaâ€™s most successful secondary school programmes in the last half-century, but its beginnings also illustrate the ingenuity and dedication of Ridley College students. Rowing at Ridley began with a group of students aiming to introduce the school to one of the most quintessential aspects of St. Catharines. Granted their request, they made the most of it and we have never looked back.
In addition to Ridley College being represented in countless top-tier university programmes, our rowers have competed for their respective countries at World Championships, World Rowing Cups, and the Olympics. As a school, we are proud of the reputation of excellence that has been established and we will continue to build on this reputation.
When Ridley is mentioned around the world, it is often recognized in the context of rowing. This is directly attributable to how well our student-athletes have represented the school, both on and off the water. We are not only developing excellent athletes, but also leaders and global ambassadors. Thank you and congratulations to everyone who has contributed to this legacy programme. It begins with dedicated athletes, but without our diligent coaching staff, selfless volunteers, and generous alumni, we would not be celebrating the accomplishments of Ridley rowing. Terar Dum Prosim. J. Edward Kidd Headmaster
Heavy Eight 2012
Ridley vs Eton in the second heat of the Princess Elizabeth Cup at the 1975 Henley Royal Regatta in England.
celebrating 50 years of ridley rowing Early Success In March of 1966, Ridley College purchased a racing shell from Toronto’s Argonaut Rowing Club and instituted a rowing programme for the first time in the school’s history. The nearby Henley course on Martindale Pond, where student athletes continue to row today, has served as the setting for 50 years of rowing at the school. Initially restricted to Grade 10 and 11 rowers, to ensure continued development, the sport supported many values that the larger school community embraced – dedication, teamwork, and the pursuit of excellence became staples of the programme from the very beginning. With support from the Ridley community, a new coach, and improved resources, the rowing programme went to work quickly. Just two years removed from its inception, Ridley rowing had claimed its first Calder Cleland trophy as Canadian Schoolboy Champion in the men’s heavy eight and placed second in the standings for overall points in 1968. Neil Campbell had taken over as head coach and the effects were already noticeable. As a nationally ranked rower himself, Campbell’s discipline and work ethic was wholeheartedly adopted by his crews, ensuring success on and off the water.
The sport grew in popularity as well, with nearly ten percent of the Upper School’s total enrollment (roughly 40 students) joining rowing in the spring. This influx of committed athletes spurred the programme to an incredibly successful 1970 season. With four boats appearing in the finals at the Canadian Schoolboy Championships, Ridley established itself as a force to be reckoned with, particularly in the heavyweight categories. After winning the the Canadian and American high school championships, Ridley became the first Canadian school to win the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at the esteemed Henley Royal Regatta in England. It was a sign of amazing things to come.
Though Ridley’s rowers continued to dominate in North America in 1971 and 1972, technical malfunctions left their exploits overseas unfulfilled. A snapped oar in 1971 and an overboard oarsman in 1972 meant Ridley would have to wait until 1973 to defend its title. That year, in addition to once again winning the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at the Royal Henley, the school recognized Neil Campbell for his enormous role in building the programme and maintaining the excellent standard to which everyone had quickly become accustomed. Jane Tregunno ‘81 with former Headmaster Richard A. Bradley
Continued Excellence The Calder Cleland Trophy was captured a total of five times by Ridley’s men’s heavyweight eights, furthering the reputation as one of Canada’s best high school rowing programmes. Additional victories at the Royal Henley came in 1975, 1977, and 1979.
The introduction of female athletes to rowing only bolstered the team’s successes. In 1978, Martha Hunt ‘78 won a silver medal in the single sculls at the Canadian Schoolboy Championships. Three years later, Jane Tregunno ‘81 became the first female in Ridley’s history to take home a gold medal from the regatta. Not stopping there, Jane would become the first female Olympian in Ridley’s history in 1984, winning a silver medal in the coxed four in Los Angeles. In the 1980’s, Ridley claimed 36 gold medals, and many more podium finishes, from the Canadian Schoolboy Championships. The regatta was now more appropriately named the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association Championships (CSSRA). Sixteen of those 36 medals were won by female crews. In 1985 and 1986, due to the age of their Grade 13 rowers, the Ridley men’s heavyweight eight was forced to compete in the more challenging Thames Challenge Trophy race when competing at the Royal Henley. Undaunted, the crews triumphed against university crews, winning in back-to-back years. With the support of alumni, parents, and benefactors, Ridley was in the midst of a rowing dynasty. One unlike many before it or since.
Programme Development In the early 1990’s, the success of the men’s heavy eight continued, winning the Calder Cleland Trophy in 1992 and 1993. However, it was the success of the programme, as a whole, that proved most impressive. From 1991 through 1996, Ridley College placed first four times and second twice among the standings for the Cosgrave Trophy at the CSSRA Championships. The Cosgrave Trophy was and is still awarded to the school with the most successful overall participation in the national regatta. The women’s programme continued to excel and produced several Olympians during the 1990’s. Maria Maunder ‘90 won a silver medal in 1996 in the Canadian women’s heavy eight and Fiona Milne competed in Sydney in 2000. Four rowers, all female, won the C.W. Dorland Trophy for all-round athletic contribution from a Ridley student athlete in a span of ten years.
Jr. Cox Four win at the 1993 Schoolboy
School-based rowing has experienced tremendous growth in Canada and the United States over the past few decades as well as a universal shift to the training methods that Ridley crews long employed for their dominance. As a result, the proverbial playing field has been leveled. To that end, in 2010 in conjunction with a philosophical overhaul in Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) by Rowing Canada, Ridley Rowing began its evolution towards early introduction, technical training, sculling, smaller boats and a focus on developing an individual/team pursuit of excellence.
Under the leadership of Mr. Dereck Schwandt and Mrs. Siobhan McLaughlin ‘96, Ridley is at the forefront of adopting these new strategies and maintaining programme excellence. Restructuring the programme takes time, effort, and diligence. In the past three years however, Ridley has won more CSSRA medals than in the previous five and has sent three crews to English Henley. We plan to do so again in the near future. In the last 50 years, we have established an incredible standard in this sport. Numerous national and de facto international championships, individual and team triumphs, fond memories, and athletic achievement have made Ridley College synonymous with success in rowing. In the next half-century, Ridley looks forward to continuing and building upon this reputation.
head coach bios Siobhan McLaughlin ‘96
Hometown: St. Catharines, Ontario Position: Women’s Head Coach Years involved in rowing: 25 Additional Ridley responsibilities: Physical education teacher and member of Gooderham West duty team Past Positions: Saskatchewan Provincial Team Head Coach (2004-2008) Ottawa Rowing Club Head Coach (2008-2011) Canada Games Team Ontario Assistant Coach (2009) and Head Coach (2013) National Development Centre - Ontario (2011-2013) Junior National Team W4- Coach (2012) U23 Lightweight Women's 2x Coach (2011)
Hometown: St. Catharines, Ontario Position: Men’s Head Coach Years involved in rowing: 28 Additional Ridley responsibilities: Social studies and physical education teacher, as well as a student advisor Past Positions: Vancouver College Rowing Lead Coach (1999-2010) Vancouver College Rowing Head Coach (2005, 2011-14) Thunderbird Rowing Centre Coach (2000 to 2004) Rowing Canada Junior Team Leader (2006 to 2008) Junior National Team M4- Coach (2007)
We surveyed some other members of the coaching staff asking about their favourite aspect of coaching at Ridley College. Here is what they had to say:
“The kids are very well supported – equipment, support from staff, and excellent coaches” - Hans Braul, Volunteer Coach
“Being able to see novice athletes develop an appreciation and love for the sport” - David Bowen, Women’s Development Coach
“The excellent resources and equipment, and interacting with such hard working and respectful young athletes” – Tobin Ireland, Men’s Development Coach
“Watching young athletes enjoy the sport of rowing” – Nancy Storrs, Junior Development Coach
Practise on the Thames, 1970, prior to their win a the Henley Royal Regatta.
meet our rowers Erin Broski
Class: 2019 Hometown: St. Catharines, Ontario Years at Ridley: 2 Years rowing: 1 Erin enjoys being out on the water. She says the power and speed that is generated when the boat comes together is an incredible feeling. In her first regatta, despite having to deal with some difficult obstacles (including another boat), Erin felt great about the race and the entire experience. Erin also competed in the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships, saying it was a little intimidating, but she enjoyed meeting some university representatives and competing against other athletes. Erin says that if she’s not at Ridley, you can find her at the stables horseback riding.
Class: 2018 Hometown: Dallas, Texas Years at Ridley: 4 Years rowing: 2 Colton’s favourite part about rowing is the opportunity to accomplish things every day that he never thought he could do. He appreciates the worldwide reputation of professionalism and rowing success Ridley rowing has established and says that “wearing orange and black when you race is an honour in itself.” Colton is interested in world issues, current events, global politics as well as being an avid sports fan. His favourite subjects are history, psychology, and economics. Colton aspires to win a national championship for Ridley and continue rowing in university or college.
Class: 2017 Hometown: Niagara-on-theLake, Ontario Years at Ridley: 2.5 Years rowing: 3 Shaun loves being constantly presented with opportunities to prove that the body is capable of far more than perhaps originally given credit for. She cites the improvement with her doubles partner, Marlene, as her greatest team accomplishment. Beginning as lightweight novices last May, they placed fifth in the heavyweight women’s double at the RowOntario Championships just two months later. Shaun is also a member of the debate team, Reach team, and the math contest club. She enjoys playing the piano and her favourite subjects are computer science and economics. She hopes to study computer science at Stanford University and join its women’s lightweight team.
Class: 2019 Hometown: Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria Years at Ridley: 1 Years rowing: 1 Evelyn says that pushing herself to the limit is her favourite aspect of rowing. Unlike any other sport, “it shows how much strength and endurance you actually have in yourself.” During the fall of 2015, her boat competed in a regatta in Saratoga, Florida, and put the different details of their training together to have an excellent race. Discovering the strength she has inside of her has given Evelyn the motivation to pursue rowing well into the future. In her spare time she likes reading, swimming, and playing the violin. Academically, she enjoys English, math, and French. Evelyn aspires to attend Harvard University as a student-athlete on the rowing team. She also would like to help less-privileged people in her home country of Nigeria.
Ashley Van Roon
Class: 2017 Hometown: Grimsby, Ontario Years at Ridley: 3 Years rowing: 3 Clark loves the competitiveness of racing at a regatta and representing Ridley College amongst so many other schools and clubs. He and his crewmates are looking to improve on their success from last year in the senior men’s heavyweight 4x. They placed third at the Stotesbury Regatta and second at the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association Championships on their home course. The hard work and dedication they have displayed through the tough winter months will serve them well this year. Clark’s favourite subject is computer science and he enjoys reading when he does have some extra time in his busy schedule. He is looking to join the junior national team this summer and continue rowing in university.
Class: 2017 Hometown: Grimsby, Ontario Years at Ridley: 3 Years rowing: 3 Ashley cites the friendships she has made and the trust everyone in a crew or programme must hold for one another as her favourite things about rowing at Ridley College. It is a tight-knit group that works hard together towards a common goal. In her Grade 9 year, Ashley was a member of the First Women’s crew from Ridley to compete in Henley Women’s Regatta at Henley-on-Thames, England, when the senior women’s 4x traveled overseas to represent the school and the country. Keep in mind Ashley was the only Grade 9 among three other Grade 12 student athletes! Ashley is also a captain for the First Girls’ basketball team. Her favourite classes are chemistry and functions. Ashley would like to continue rowing in university and, long term, sees herself as a rowing and/or basketball coach.
RIDLEY OLYMPIC ROWERS W.R. Wadsworth '93
1904 St. Louis
Neil Campbell '51
1964 Tokyo/'68 Mexico/1984 LA/1988 Seoul
Robert Brookson '57 Chris Leach '60 John Nunn '61
Jim Butterfield '70 Brian Love '71
Dirk Gidney '72
Brian McMahon '80
Jane Tregunno '81
Jason Dorland '83
Darby Berkhout '85
Michael Bryden '89
Maria Maunder '90
Fiona Milne '90
1968 Mexico City
1984 Los Angeles
1984 Los Angeles/1988 Seoul
statistics Since 2000, over 40 student-athletes have graduated from Ridley and competed in post-secondary rowing programmes. Since 2000, 23 percent of Ridley athletes competing in post-secondary programmes are rowers. Ridley College rowers have joined the following top-tier rowing programmes:
• Boston University
• Harvard University
• Brock University
• McGill University
• Brown University
• Princeton University
• Purdue University
• Queen's University
• Robert Morris University
• University of Victoria
• University of British Columbia
• University of Guelph
• St. Lawrence University • University of Miami
• University of Victoria
• Stanford University
• University of Pennsylvania
• University of Western Ontario
• Syracuse University • University of Texas
Since entering the CSSRA Championships in 1968, Ridley College is third amongst all secondary schools in gold medals between 1941 and 2015. 82 gold medals won at Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association Championships
25 victories at Stotesbury Cup Regatta (American Secondary School Championships) Five Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup victories at the Henley Royal Regatta • Tied for second most among all schools • First among overseas schools
Two Thames Challenge Cup victories at the Henley Royal Regatta • Made more impressive because this is a university category
“Nick’s Chicks”, 1987
current programme needs
To ensure continued success and development for our student athletes Concept 2 Sculling Oars (Smoothies) â€“ 10 sets
Hudson midweight eight (w/ sculling riggers)
Hudson midweight four (w/quad riggers) Full-size pickup truck (4 door) Coach boat Boat trailer
$ 50,000 $ 2,500
Gifts of any size are greatly appreciated. Rowing equipment, coaching aids, and other important tools can be purchased with your generous gifts.
These are just some of the current needs for the Ridley rowing programme. To ensure continued success and development for our student athletes, we aim to provide our coaching staff with the best tools and resources. Concept 2 and Hudson are among the industry leaders with regard to oars and rowing shells. Recognizable at any international rowing event, these brands have an excellent reputation among development programmes and national teams all over the world.
Increasingly, our coaches are exposing student athletes to more and more competition away from our home course at Henley Island. As a result, keeping our equipment safe and secure while traveling is important. A trailer and full-size pickup truck would aid greatly in these endeavours.
Additionally, the Neil Campbell Memorial Fund for Coaching and Mentoring Excellence is awarded each year to a coach to "provide grants to Ridley coaches who wish to pursue courses, workshops, and other professional development opportunities, which will enhance their qualifications and experience as coaches and mentors to young men and women". Neil's legacy remains a large part of Ridley rowing and through this fund, we are able to provide excellent opportunities for our coaching staff. If you can recall a coach or mentor having a positive impact on your experience here, please consider donating to the Neil Campbell Memorial fund.
Senior Menâ€™s 4+ winning gold at CSSRA 2014.
A special thank you to the members of our 50th Anniverary committee: Bill Jackson ‘77 Lachlan Macintosh Betsy McRae Sandy Meyers
Special Consultants: Fraser Mackay ‘73
Monika Seymour Tim Rigby ‘60 Nancy Storrs
Michael Wodchis ‘80
The 1968 Heavy Eight prepare to leave for England and the Henley Royal Regatta.
Tim Taylor ‘68 Jay Tredway ‘96 Andrew Weller
Ridley College of St. Catharines, Ontario celebrates 50 years of rowing.