Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
|By BREANNA KELLOGG|
|IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s rowing team is going a step beyond in its care and development of its international rowers. They are taking communication and collaboration to a new level in an effort to be outstanding stewards of international athletes as they prepare for national team programs.
Eve Stewart, a native of Amsterdam, is a prime example of how the Hawkeyes’ vision includes international racing goals
“As we started to identify candidates we thought would fit well at Iowa and fit the profile of a national team prospect, the first recommendation we received from the Netherlands was for Eve,” said Iowa head coach Andrew Carter. “She was young in the sport of rowing — an ex-track athlete who had been involved in rowing for less than a year — but had been identified by the KNRB (Royal Dutch Rowing Federation) coaches and was already involved in their Junior National Team Program.”
Stewart had been rowing for just a few months when Iowa assistant coach Jeff Garbutt reached out to her. She had already sent out her applications to study in the United Kingdom and was not even considering the possibility of rowing in the United States.
“I had rowed for maybe five months before the Iowa rowing coaches got in contact with me,” said Stewart. “I had already sent out my applications to go and study in the United Kingdom so it was a giant shock, but studying in the United States was an exciting proposition.”
Stewart is not the only Dutch rower who took the opportunity to row in the United States.
“In total, there are 13 Dutch rowers in America, men and women combined,” said Stewart. “A lot of us are either already involved with the national team program or working our way toward it. It’s a close-knit group, so we have a great sense of what the different experiences are here in the U.S. What I’ve learned over the past year is that the approach coach Carter is taking is most closely aligned with the Dutch program, so I feel good about my decision to come to Iowa.
“The way people approach training in the Netherlands is different than what seems to be the norm here in America. Even though I was training with some of the national coaches, they have a much more laidback approach. They push you, but it’s in a different way from the American style. The coaches here at Iowa strike a good balance between the two. They push me to develop but in a way that makes sense to me. A way that is supportive, respectful, and that is preparing me to train and race in a high performance program.”
The team’s approach to development is not only aimed at ensuring the Hawkeyes continue their rise to the top tier of the NCAA, it’s aimed at making rowing in America a more viable option for international-caliber rowers, such as Stewart.
“As someone who has been around and been involved in national programs and national training centers, I see this as being a responsible move,” said Carter. “A ‘give back’ behavior on our part. We want to make sure we’re communicating and engaging in a way that federations and national team coaches can both have confidence in us and have a good understanding of what their rowers are doing while they’re at Iowa.”
“What’s happening here at Iowa is special,” says Stewart. “I’m improving every day and moving closer to my goals. Just as important is that I’m having an amazing time doing so. The girls on this team are phenomenal, the coaches are in it with us, and I know that coach Carter is in touch with my coaches in Holland so they know what I’m doing. It is the best combination and one that is helping me to progress in the sport I love.”
The Hawkeyes continue their fall season Sunday, sending crews to both the Head of the Charles in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Jayhawk Jamboree in Lawrence, Kansas.