From left: Ian Bramble, High Performance Director Rowing Canada Aviron; Bill Schenck, Co-Chair of St. Catharines World Rowing; Mayor Walter Sendzik, City of St. Catharines; Carol Purcer, President of Rowing Canada Aviron; Terry Dillion, Executive Director of Rowing Canada Aviron – at the FISA Congress Announcement in Linz, Austria. Supplied photo.
Niagara is on a roll when it comes to securing high-end sport competition. On the heels of hosting the Women’s U18 World Hockey Championships, the Scotties national women’s curling championships, Pan Am Games events, the U18 Americas Basketball Championships and of course the upcoming 2021 Canada Summer Games, St. Catharines can also add the World Rowing Championships to the impressive list.
The FISA Congress, held annually after the World Rowing Championships, voted yesterday to decide what cities will host upcoming World Rowing Championships. Delegates at the FISA Congress voted overwhelmingly in support of the St. Catharines bid which was competing with Linz, Austria – which just completed hosting the 2019 World Rowing Championships this past week.
The City of St. Catharines, in partnership with St. Catharines World Rowing and Rowing Canada Aviron submitted a bid to host the Championships, which includes Senior, Under 23 and Junior championships. It is the largest rowing event in the world.
“This is a great day for rowing in St. Catharines and Canada,” said Mayor Walter Sendzik, who was in Linz, Austria for the vote. “There have been a lot of people working hard to secure this bid led by Bill Schenck, co-chair of St. Catharines World Rowing. It was a true St. Catharines team effort.”
Schenck, a member of FISA and a leader in the St. Catharines rowing community, joined Mayor Sendzik in Linz for the event.
Shenck said he was “very excited” that the FISA Congress voted to support the decision of FISA Council that Canada was the most suitable candidate to host the World Championships in 2024. “I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the team that has prepared the bid, especially the City of St. Catharines staff,” said Schenck. “The St. Catharines World Rowing Committee looks forward in welcoming the world of rowing all back to St. Catharines in 2024.”
St. Catharines has hosted two World Rowing Championships before in 1970 and 1999.
“We are pleased and excited to see that the 2024 World Rowing Senior, Under 23 and Junior Championships were attributed to St. Catharines at Congress in Linz,” said Terry Dillon, CEO of Rowing Canada, who was also at the World Championships. “Rowing Canada would like to thank the community in St. Catharines for its support and hard work in putting together such a strong and successful bid. We know how important it is for athletes to get the chance to compete on home soil and for our next generation of rowers to be inspired by seeing, first hand, competition of the highest level. We look forward to welcoming the world of rowing to St Catharines and know that we will enjoy an amazing event.”
Rowing Canada was very active in working to secure the bid as well. Rowing Canada president and St. Catharines resident Carol Purcer played an important role in working with her rowing federation colleagues to support the St. Catharines bid.
“I am thrilled that we are going to be bringing the World Championships back to St. Catharines,” said Purcer. “We know that we have an amazing facility and a passionate community that will make for another memorable event for the athletes, the supporters and for World Rowing.”
The St. Catharines bid was built on the success of previous World Rowing Championships held in the city along with the 137 years of the Henley Regatta, 2015 Pan Am Games and the upcoming 2021 Canada Summer Games.
“The bid from St. Catharines was of the highest quality,” said Matt Smith, executive director of FISA. “We were impressed by the care and commitment we witnessed in the attribution process and we are pleased to be looking forward to another successful World Rowing event in Canada. Congratulations to St. Catharines and Rowing Canada.”