At ILRC we have a deeply shared common goal.  This is to provide an opportunity to our community to participate in rowing, -  this includes the broad spectrum of our community.

Rowing is a sport that can be readily adapted to persons who have either cognitive or physical disabilities.  Learning the skills of moving a rowing shell through the water is a satisfying experience for all rowers.  Rowers with disabilities have found this experience to be a fun and empowering one.  The sport of rowing is a safe and effective tool in developing the skills of goal setting, teamwork, discipline and fitness through the challenging environment of sculling. Para-rowers will be responsible for providing their own transportation to the club.

All rowers will wear a specially designed personal floatation device and a coach/ safety motor boat will accompany each rowing boat.

For Persons with Cognitive Disabilities

For many years the Island lake Rowing Club has offered an Para-rowing program to the developmentally disabled students of Orangeville District Secondary School and to the Special Friend’s Club from Hillsburgh.  We are able to offer a one-on-one mentorship.  This program is based on a 4-6 session Learn to Row format requiring 1 – 1 ½ hours twice a week for 3-4 weeks. Each participant is taught the basics of rowing with an added emphasis on life skills development teaching the values of teamwork and communication while building self-confidence. Coaches for this program are selected for their excellent communication and leadership skills.

The following is a breakdown of the program:

SESSION 1 Getting To Know You – Students will meet the coaches and begin to build their mentor/ student relationship as well as become familiar with the equipment and review safety guidelines for on and off the water.

SESSION 2 Building A Team – With an emphasis on teamwork, coaches will instruct students on the movement of the boat and the rowing stroke. This will be a dock session.

SESSION 3 On The Dock – Students will review the rowing stroke and begin to row with each other and their mentors in synchronization.

SESSION 4, 5, 6 On The Water – Students and mentors will venture out on the water to perfect their rowing skills.  All on-water sessions will be dependent on weather. Coaches will make the final decision. The final session will include a celebration of each student’s efforts and achievements.

For Persons with Physical Disabilities

Last year the club expanded the Para-program to provide rowing for persons with physical disabilities.  Persons who fit this program are teens and adults with 1) leg, or leg and trunk disabilities (including using a wheel chair). 2) visual impairment.

Adaptive persons are interested in rowing for the same reasons as able-bodied persons. Some are interested in competitive opportunities and others are looking for general fitness and recreation.  The goal of our program is to provide the opportunity for persons to learn the skills of rowing – particularly targeting recreational rowing.  Rowers may progress to competitive Para-racing if desired.

Rowing is done in a specially adapted recreational single (one person) which is fitted with pontoons and a double (two persons – with one person being the coach).  Seating and support is customized to the specific needs of the rower.  A coach/safety motor boat will accompany each rowing boat.  The program operates for 2 months beginning in July. We will fit the rowing time to the availability of the rower and the club coaches.  e.g. evenings or day time.

The program is operated by the coaching staff of the ILRC and will provide as many personnel as required to assist the rower. We have a second dock in place which is wheel chair accessible.

This program is  limited to a few rowers to ensure that our staff can support them and provide a quality experience.  Adaptive rowers will be responsible for providing their own transportation to the club.

Detailed information about Para-rowing is located on the Rowing Canada web site:

For information on this program email us at:

2017 Fees: $150 – please inquire about applicable fees.  Email Cathy:

REGISTRATION information is on the Register Now (under Registration) page of our website: