igetrowing.com / Youth



“In rowing, it’s ok to look back as long as you keep moving forward.” – Arshay Cooper

East Tennessee Rowing (ETRO) is an independent youth rowing program promoting the Olympic sport of rowing in the Tennessee foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  We offer year-round recreational and competitive indoor and outdoor opportunities for youth 12-18 years of age. The team is co-ed, as we do have boys and girls on the team, but they train and compete on separate crews. If you like being outdoors, on the water, while getting in great shape, making lifelong friendships, and being part of something greater than yourself rowing is worth a try.

ETRO trains and competes in team sweep (single oar rowing) boats which demands the ultimate level of teamwork and cultivates hardworking individual athletes into successful team. Rowing achieves this through the mental and physical strength of each participating individual. For a boat to move smoothly and efficiently, the crew members must adapt to each other, communicate clearly, and be accountable. Often compared to marathon running or cross-country skiing, rowing is a sport that demands cardio-vascular strength and mental focus. Rowing embodies many positive life skills:

  • Trust – Boats can feel tippy and little bit scary, but as a team you balance the boat together and trust one another to move with you safely from point A to point B.
  • Synergy – Rowing and synergy are nearly synonymous. Through good communication and active participation, your team immediately understands how much faster the boat will go if you work together.
  • Healthy competition – Like most sports, rowing is competitive, but what makes it unique is that there can be no “superstars.” The best rowers are the ones who are competitive with themselves and ultimately inspire those around them.
  • Patience – Moving a boat takes work and it requires all hands on deck. Often times the boat does not feel balanced. It is up to each person in the boat to find that balance or “set” as we call it in rowing terms.
  • Fun – Rowing is easy to learn yet hard to master, demanding mental and physical toughness, yet a lot of fun; it leaves you feeling accomplished and excited to get back on the water!

ETRO’s Junior Rowing Program started in 2009. Since then numerous young athletes have not only experienced successful junior rowing careers but have been sought out by top universities. Due to the sports historical ties to Universities, rowing is steeped in a college-going culture and rich educational networks.

ETRO is always looking for great young athletes to join us in our competitive pursuits. Athletes that are hardworking,  who are willing to set high standards for themselves and those around them, who have a willingness to learn, the drive to compete, and who are able to thrive in a true team culture where the success of the team is larger than the individual.

Our crews are comprised of student-athletes from multiple middle and high schools in the Blount, Knox and Loudon Counties that come together to train and compete for ETRO. Each comes from various athletic backgrounds, and like you, most had NO prior rowing experience. During your first season our nationally certified coaches teach the fundamentals needed to get up to speed.


  • No prior rowing experience is required.
    • - Juniors can start the year they turn 12 through the summer after they complete high school.
    • - Prospective rowers and coxswains should take our on-ramp Pre-Season Learn-to-Row Clinics or Summer Learn-To-Row Camps. For beginner athletes to see if rowing is for them while teaching basic momements and skills needed to be successful in getting up to speed.
    • - To ensure athlete and equipment safety we ask new rowers to be able to lift 45 pounds over their head, which is the athletes part of the shell. 
    • - All rowers need to know how to swim. If you cannot swim, you probably shouldn’t be on the water rowing. 
    • - Participants should watch the USRowing Safety Video prior to season.


  • Practices are conducted at our Boathouse ‚Äčon Fort Loudoun Lake or at our Watt Street Gym in the Alcoa City Center.
    • Boathouse: (3452 Louisville Rd., Louisville, TN) Convenient to Blount and Knox Counties, and surrounding areas. It is a 20-minute drive from the I-40 / Pellissippi Parkway (I-140) intersection by taking Topside Rd and 20-minutes from Downtown Knoxville via Alcoa Highway, as well as 15 minutes from downtown Maryville along Louisville Road.
    • Watt Street Gym: (259 East Watt St., Alcoa, TN) Next to Alcoa Family Chiropractic. 



  • ETRowing competes successfully across the Southeast region as well as nationally. ETRO’s travels to 4-5 events per season divided into “Team” and “Select”. In rowing nobody rides the bench, every athlete will compete in every regatta they attend. Our competitive crews are selected on attendance, attitude, erg scores, overall performance, and boat moving ability skill regardless of age or grade. There have been instances, particularly talented novices are brought up to the varsity crews in their first season on the team. 



  • East Tennessee Rowing communicates through multiple platforms. Email is used, but we find it less effective as our system only stores one contact per membership.
    • Our text system is called “Remind” and used for most of our communication needs.
    • To join: Text @etrowing to #81010.  
    • General announcements and weather updates are posted on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. 
    • Feel free to like or follow us there at @etrowing.