SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The ripples from their oar blades may not look that big, but some New College of Florida students are making waves, with a welcoming hand to their counterparts at other local colleges. The group known now as New Crew SRQ is the first collegiate rowing club on the Suncoast to represent multiple schools.
The club is a partnership of New College and Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA), the nonprofit that operates and manages Nathan Benderson Park for Sarasota County. Club members train daily, sharing the park’s calm waters with elite athletes and community rowers.
Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt founded the team with support from her parents, Erika and Achim Ginsberg-Klemmt. She said rowing builds a sense of teamwork and unity.
“In a boat, where everyone’s breathes and heart rates match and are all considered equals, there is no superiority complex of which seat is more important,” said Ginsberg-Klemmt. “Everyone learns to depend on and support each other by each giving their best at practices and races.”
“The goal of New Crew SRQ is to create an inclusive rowing culture and a sense of unity among New College students,” said Ginsberg-Klemmt. “New Crew is a flexible rowing program designed to accommodate both scullers and sweep rowers, people who want to compete in regional regattas, and folks interested in physical fitness and camaraderie.”
SANCA President/CEO Tomás Herrera-Mishler said creating this team is a chance to create a lifetime impact.
“New Crew SRQ is a great new rowing community growing in Sarasota,” said Herrera-Mishler. “We are proud to partner with New College to host this inclusive rowing program at our best-in-class facility. Rowing is not just about competition. A program like this one opens doors for lifetime fitness, a powerful sense of connection, and personal discipline that can serve these students well for the rest of their lives.”
From newbies to seasoned rowers, New Crew SRQ provides students, staff and alumni the chance to learn, train and compete as a team at Nathan Benderson Park, both on water and land. While there are opportunities to compete against other crews, there is a reward unto itself in being involved in a sport that maximizes physical fitness, finesse, team spirit and dedication.
New College President Donal O’Shea credited Ginsberg-Klemmt and lauded the New College-SANCA partnership.
“We are proud to launch a collegiate rowing club in Sarasota and welcome the opportunity to extend greater access to this sport to the local community,” said O’Shea. “Toni has been instrumental in the creation of New Crew SRQ and the establishment of this partnership with SANCA.”