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We Are Hickory Crew

One Catch, One Boat, One Team

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What is a team of rowers called?
A Crew!
Hickory Crew is for 7th Grade Middle to 12th Grade High School students who live in the Hickory district of Chesapeake, VA. We offer full training from complete novice to Varsity levels at our facility right here in Great Bridge.
If you are interested in a whole-year, full-body sport that combines strength, flexibility, mental focus, self-discipline, and teamwork, then Crew is for you.
We compete throughout the Fall and Spring seasons, and train through Summer and Winter seasons.


Being captain means to me giving something back to a team that has done a lot for me. It encourages me to work harder in a sport I enjoy, to take responsibility and action, and motivate others to do the same.

- Jake Werning - Boys Captain 22/23

To me, Crew means working hard to achieve your goals. It is also lifting each other up and working as a team.

- Campbell Gettier - Girls Captain 22/23

VSRC Women's Junior 1x FINAL
Watch our Captain, Claire Conner, beat the reigning champion!

Do you want to be on a winning team?
Join Hickory Crew!

Hickory Crew is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that operates from member dues and the generous donations of sponsors. You can contribute to Hickory Crew through PayPal.

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Are there any fitness requirements to join?

Crew is a physical activity, and unlike most scholastic sports, will require the use of all of your major muscle groups- legs, back, and arms. That said, part of the training emphasis is to get you into a condition where you can handle the physical exertion. Hence the sports physical where a physician verifies that the prospective athlete is cleared for participation in physical activity. The athlete should also be competent in the water, e.g. capable of floating, treading water, and swimming short distances. The swim test will verify their skills in this regard. Allergies and asthma are not disqualifiers if they are controllable and the physician authorizes activity. Flexibility helps, but can be developed.

Is Crew a safe sport?

As with all sports, there is an element of risk. Water, boats, heavy and awkward equipment, lots of people are just some of the dangers we encounter.  However, your safety is of paramount importance and we take it very seriously. We are fully insured, maintain our equipment properly and teach our members the importance of safety and how to manage the equipment properly.

Do I have to attend every practice in order to race?

Is Crew and expensive sport?

Crew can be an expensive sport as there is a lot of equipment necessary to take part. BUT...we cover almost all of these expenses with our seasonal club dues, which are currently $700 per athlete, per season.  We do offer a discount for multiple family participants and if you join by attending one of our Summer Camps you can enjoy a discount too!

When can I join?

Crew is a year-round sport. You can join any time. We typically hold a 2-week camp in August, but attendance here is not mandatory. You can join at any time during the year.

Slow down, sports fan! It’s easiest to learn on one of our rowing machines first where you can grasp the basics of the rowing motion without having to worry about balance, being on the water, etc. We use a combination of rowing machines to learn the stroke, and a ‘row box’ to learn oar handling. Typically, 2-3 days on land before getting into a boat. Chances are, if you’ve seen someone rowing in the gym, they’re doing it wrong. We’ll break it down and help you put it all together.

How soon can I get on the water?

When are the races?

There are two racing seasons, fall & spring. There are usually 5-6 regattas (races) in the fall starting in late Sep/early Oct and running into mid-Nov. The spring season usually has 6-7 regattas starting in early Apr and running through mid-May.

How often do you practice?

Fall practice is currently 4 days a week, which are Mon, Tue, Thur, and Sat. Practices are on the water for spring-fall, with winter conditioning on land at the boathouse. During winter, we work on rowing machines, augmented with weights, calisthenics, and stretching/yoga. Practices are usually 2 hours in length.

When are try-outs for Crew?

How do I join?

No try-outs!!  No cuts, this is a club sport. Yes, that's right, we do not have try-outs, but we do offer a Summer Camp during the school holidays which you are welcome to come to and see if Crew is for you! Come along and our coaches will train you, and find a way to seat you in a boat for races.

It’s easy! Step 1, tell us you’d like to join! Step 2 will involve filling out some paperwork. A registration form, waiver, emergency information, etc. Step 3, pay the dues. Step 4… Row!! Sports physical and swim tests will be required, but parent consent will cover in the short term. Hop on over to our join page for more information.

We’d certainly encourage that, but it isn’t a hard and fast requirement. Rowing is a sport that responds especially well to sustained, repeated participation. The more you row, the better you (and your boat) get. That requires your commitment, both mentally and physically (both body and attendance). The decision on boat entries and line-ups is a coach’s decision and certainly attendance can become a factor.

If my child is joins, what can I do to help?

There are lots of things a parent can do to help out. We have parents help out for practice preps and boat recovery, the Board is composed of parents, there are parent volunteer positions that help with team functioning, food at regattas, etc. All the while, you’ll meet fantastic people whom all share in participating in this awesome sport!


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