by Dan Elliott (Manager, Media Relations)
March 19, 2014, VANCOUVER (ISN) – The UBC Thunderbirds rowing team is gearing up for its second annual Erg-a-Thon to raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation. The event will be held Sunday March 23 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Stong’s Market at West 29th Avenue and Dunbar Street in Vancouver.
This year the Thunderbirds have teamed up with the #OneTeam initiative. Started by fellow rowers at the University of Western Ontario after one of their teammates was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, #OneTeam recognizes that there are some things worth putting aside competition for and beating cancer is one of those things.
“As a former rower at Western I thought it would be a great idea to get involved and carry the #OneTeam concept to the west coast,” said fifth-year rower Maxwell Lattimer. “We’ve had a pretty good response, even from some friends at UVIC who of course are our all-time rivals. However, they are putting aside our rivalry for this event which is impressive considering the Brown Cup is less than two weeks away. It’s very cool to see people get behind the event and see everybody involved.”
The rowing team will have five ergs (rowing machines) on hand Sunday and will be looking to surpass the 705,990 metres accumulated over 12 hours at last year’s event. All members of the novice and varsity teams will take part with every participant expected to be on the erg for at least one hour.
“Everyone on our team jumped at the opportunity to get involved,” said Lattimer, who’s from Delta. “This isn’t the type of event where you have to twist arms, everyone is supportive and eager to do their part. While you are only obligated to be there for two hours, most will stay for four to five hours because it is such a great experience. We get such a great response from the Dunbar community and all the passerbyers. Stong’s is a great host and a great venue, so we are just hoping for a little sun or better yet, just no rain.”
The goal this year is to at least match last year’s total of $2,500 raised, but thanks to a couple of new additions to this year’s challenge, the group is confident they can surpass that number.
In support of the #OneTeam initiative, they will be selling specially designed tank tops for $15 apiece. All UBC rowers will be sporting the tank tops which will be adorned with the vintage UBC Thunderbird Crew crest on the chest as well as the Cancer Foundation daffodil and the tag #OneTeam on the back.
Another new addition to the Erg-a-Thon is the erg challenge component. Any supporter who wants to, will be given the opportunity to hop on, learn how to erg, and even challenge a varsity athlete to a race. In fact, fifth-year Alex Janzen is so confident that he can’t be beat in a 100-metre race, that he is willing to buy a #OneTeam tank top for anybody who can beat him.
“To be honest it was one of my teammates (Jacob Derewenda) who volunteered me,” said Janzen. “I’m not sure what I’m getting into to but I welcome any challenge and look forward to personally buying a tank top for anyone who can beat me.”
For Janzen, a Surrey native who stands 6-foot-4, 100 metres should take him anywhere between 17 and 22 seconds. So if you think you have what it takes to beat a varsity athlete this is your opportunity to prove it while helping out a great cause.
It all gets going at 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 23 at Stong’s Market on Dunbar.
4560 Dunbar Street
Sunday March 23 – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.