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St. Charles Rowing Club shares potential with City Council

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 9:13 p.m. CST
Caption
(Photo provided)
Members of the St. Charles Rowing Club head north on the Fox River toward Red Gate Bridge during a spring 2014 practice. The club hopes to someday host a state championship on the river.

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Rowing Club on Monday shared its growth and its future goals with the St. Charles City Council.

The nonprofit organization serves those ages 15 to 18 with an interest in rowing, said Chris Meldrum, the club’s founder and juniors director. The group has grown from two members during its 2013 launch to 40 as of Wednesday.

“We go all over the country and represent St. Charles,” Meldrum said. “It’s a pretty cool sport.”

The group has members from as far north as Barrington, as far east as Hinsdale, and as far south as Naperville, Meldrum said. While group members are used to traveling to multiple states to row in competitions, also known as regattas, the organization hopes to one day host an Illinois state rowing championship on the Fox River.

“It would be a tremendous opportunity to have that option available,” she said.

Meldrum said there would need to be more infrastructure on the Fox River, including a dock, to hold such a large event. If it ever happens, St. Charles would be host to teams from all across Illinois.

St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina said the city would embrace having such an event held within its boundaries. The Rowing Club joins the Active River Project Task Force and RowAmerica among the groups that see a strong future in the Fox River, he said.

The task force, comprised of members from the St. Charles Park District, the City of St. Charles, the Kane County Forest Preserve and the St. Charles River Corridor Foundation, hold regular Monday meetings. RowAmerica, a national rowing company, plans to invest $2 million into a project that would include building a boathouse in Ferson Creek Park, according to Dave Dickison, president of RowAmerica Boat Club, a division of RowAmerica.

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