Juniors Program

Privateers - Developing passion in new rowers

Privateers are our youth rowers learning the sport. They also are a passionate group who just love rowing. The Privateers are rowers who wish to continue rowing through high school and also have passions in the arts, music, atheltics and other interests. 

The Privateers balance the rowing commitment for these individuals and provide 2  days of instruction on the water combined with one day of indoor rowing per week for the Fall and Spring seasons. Our rowers train in the Fall for the Head of the Rock regatta in Rockford, Illinois and one spring regatta which is selected by the coaches depending on various factors.

This program is open to rowers starting in 6th grade through high school. The Privateers program can be joined at any time in the Fall, Winter or Spring season.

Some final instructions before the race
Family and Friends Open House
Regatta succeses

Juniors Program

The Sweeps & Sculls Juniors Rowing Team consists of rowers in 8th grade or older who wish to compete at the highest level possible for youth rowing. This group starts in the Fall and finishes in the spring with the  Midwest Junior Nationals Regatta in Ohio. This program will develop the rower for the highest leveles of competion and requires a commitment from these rowers for the year.

Tryouts for this team are open in Fall and rowers can use this time to determine if they want to make the commitment needed to grow are a competitive rower. A boat does not row itself. It is a team effort that starts with attendance. In rowing if one rower doesn’t show up, the boat does not get to row affecting the entire team.

Sweeps & Sculls teaches these young rowers responsiblity and commitment and helps them reap the benefits from a focused approach.

Sweeping - Juniors in a 4+
Juniors Boat Yard at the Fox River
Race Day - Launching a 4+

Adaptive Rowing Program

Rowing is an inclusive sport. It’s goal is to provide opportunities through rowing to many people as possible. The Sweeps & Sculls Adaptive program is trageted for individuals who may need additional support to be a rower.

Adaptive rowing is a large category in US Rowing. If you have a child who may be interested in rowing as an experience, please contact us to discuss their needs and how Sweeps and Sculls programs can be adapted to help them become the best rowers they can be.

Rowing Seasons, Regattas and Events

For those new to Sweeps & Sculls rowing, you may be curious about what each season is about. The Fall season targets long distance rowing and building a solid core for steady state rowing. The Winter season focuses on building a rowers engine and transitioning them from head race endurance to sprint race speed for the spring. This is accomplished with training on ergs, visiting rowing tanks and participating in indoor regattas. The spring racing season is then focused on the 2K spring distance which is the same distance crews race in the Olympics and various world rowing events.

Below is an overview of approximately how those seasons work for Sweeps & Sculls rowers. Note that below is a listing of suggested options that the club has for consideration and not neccessarily an expect list of activities.

Fall Season

The Fall season for our youth teams lasts from late August until early November. Below is a list of potential regattas and events held during the season.

Regattas possible in the Fall
  • Wisco Chase (early September)
  • Head of the Rock (mid October)
  • Blake Haxton/Speakmon (late October)
  • Head of the Hooch (early November)
Team Events in the Fall
  • Team Breakfast
  • Halloween Costume Row
  • Family and Friends Open House
  • Fall Team Awards

Winter Season

Winter season starts in December and lasts until mid March. Below is a list of indoor regattas and events held during the season.

Indoor Regattas
  • Southside Smackdown
  • Chicagoland Shiver Erg Sprints
Team Events in the Winter
  • Erg Marathon 26.2 miles
  • Team Breakfast
  • Virtual Team Challenge (World wide)
  • University of Wisconsin Tanks  Training
  • Skokie Tank Training Sessions

Spring Season

Spring season starts in late March and can last until late May or early June.

Regattas possible in the Spring
  • Illinois Regatta (early April)
  • Dogwood Junior Championships (mid April)
  • Indy Regatta (mid May)
  • Midwest Junior Rowing Championship (late May)
Team Events in the Spring
  • Team Breakfast
  • Spring Team Awards
  • Senior Honor Guard

Juniors Coaches

Sweeps & Sculls coaches represent a wide range of experiences and skills. Our Director of Coaching, Sue Koscielski is currently finishing her Level 3 certifciation through US Rowing, the highest level of certification in the United States. She looks forward to bringing new processes, learning techniques and experiences back to the Masters and Juniors Program for SSR. Many of which are used to varying degrees by the US National Team.

Overall, the coaches at Sweeps & Sculls have over 40 years of experience at all levels of rowing. The coaches have a wide range of actual rowing experience as juniors and high school rowers, experience as collegiate rowers and many years of masters rowing experience.

Our coaching group also fit into the jack-of-all-trades category. They repair boats, plan team events, organize regattas, build boatyard additions and sometimes even row. Our coaches and there long term involvement with Sweeps & Sculls make them a valuable assest to the club, its programs and its mission.

Coach Sue and Coach Kellie
Coach Jack
Sweeps and Sculls Founders - Sue and Mark