HSE Rowing Club In Saint Petersburg

Mikhail Kondratev and Ksenia Rastorgueva talk about the benefit of their experience and knowledge.

HSE Rowing Club In Saint Petersburg

Student life is one of the most exciting periods of life. Students study a lot, many of them try to work or work on probation. This routine life can lead to suffering from overwork. Nevertheless, they can avoid such unpleasant results by maintaining a balance between private life and studying. Sport is excellent for that. 

As you know, there are a large number of student organizations in the Higher School of Economics. One of them is the Rowing club in Saint Petersburg. It is enough young organization, which began to function in November 2019. I am going to ask Mikhail Kondratev (the founder of the club and the student of the 3rd course) and Ksenia Rastorgueva (a manager of the Rowing club and a graduate of the HSE) about some particular qualities. 

The first interviewee is Mikhail Kondratev. He is talking about the organizational process of the club.  

Mikhail Kondratev
Mikhail Kondratev
Hello, Mikhail! How did the idea of creating the club come about?

I had been going in for rowing for a long time before I entered the Higher School of Economics. However, I decided to give up my career as a sportsman to concentrate on my studies. Nevertheless, some occasions were at the beginning of the second course, which promotes arranging the club. Firstly, I missed about this sport, the atmosphere of the competitions. One day I talked with my mates and found out that the Rowing club has come about at the Moscow campus of HSE University. At that time, I thought about arranging the Rowing club in Saint Petersburg. Secondly, I became a curator. One of the first-year students turned to me with a question about the organization of the sports student club. I did not know the answer, so I advised to apply to the Sports Department. Nevertheless, I was impressed by her willingness and perseverance to organize this club. Thirdly, one day the man from the Moscow campus of HSE University made me offer to create the Rowing club in Saint Petersburg. Probably, the last straw made me take up seeing into a matter. 

How was the work of the club organized?

My mate from the Moscow campus helped me much because he knew enough about an organization of student club. Besides, a first-year student (Anastasia Kudelka) helped me with looking for a person who was in charge of the sports club in HSE University, because she has already had her student organization. He was Alexander Ugrumov. I thought of my idea of the club, its features, and its work. Then I went to Alex Ugrumov. He supported my offer. I began to think about the training site, the schedule, and the main problem was looking for a coach because I did not have enough experience and time for being a coach. Our trainer was found through my former coach (the trainer of the Rowing club of the ITMO University). I negotiated with Mikhail Ufimtsev (The training site was found through Student Rowing League. It pays the coaches. Moreover, I created the networking profiles on Instagram, VKontakte), made up a schedule. We picked up a team of students. They have begun the training process. They were taking part in competitions.

Is it hard to organize a sports student club in HSE?

I think I am lucky because amazing people surrounded me. Thanks to them, all my arrangements ran smoothly. I was surprised. However, the budget of the HSE University had been formed by the time, so we could not get anything. Alex Ugrumov gave us T-shirts for participating in competitions. What is more, the students took an interest in the training process. It motivated me to develop more.

Well, can you tell me about your duties as a manager?

My trainer and I made up the schedule. I answered the questions of the students who were interested in rowing, invited new people. I helped my coach with the training process at the same time I did exercises. I drawn up applications for participating in competitions, took part in meetings of the Student Rowing League. I dealt with organizational matters and dreamt about the future of the Rowing club.

The second interviewee is Ksenia Rastorgueva. We asked her about her experience and feelings connected with rowing.

Ksenia Rastorgueva
Ksenia Rastorgueva
Hello, Ksenia! Can you tell me about your duties as manager of the club?

Well, I interact with the administration of the faculty of Physical Education and Student Rowing League. I have to fulfill the requirements connected with students who take part in competitions. I do Social Media Marketing for the club. Other people help me with developing profiles in the social network. For example, girls take photos or shoot videos of exercises. Also, we try to discuss all content. We have a good teamwork.  

Okay! Tell us, please, how you found out about the Rowing club? What was the reason to continue your training?

I notice the news about opening the Rowing club. I did not understand what it was, so I decided to attend the first training, but it was an excellent alternative to usual PE (yoga, stretching). I fall in love with rowing sport at first sight. The first experience was new and unusual. Nevertheless, I liked that our coach told us about our aims and perspectives. It all sounded difficult but he could attract attention to this sport. Our coach always helps and supports us when we have some problems. Sometimes you realize that difficulties make you disciplined, so you should prepare for competitions.

How has the Pandemic influenced the club?

Quarantine has adjusted the training process. There are few new sportsmen on the training now. Students who did sport before Pandemic attend all training and participate in competitions. Nevertheless, we glad new members of our team.

Is it hard to combine the studying and training processes?

No, fortunately, sport helps to study. This permanent movement allows you to feel alive. For example, you should go to the gym after lessons at the university, and you realize that you have some purpose in reaching the results. Thus, it helps to escape from daily routine and many deadlines. You are alone with your thoughts and aims, so training is a perfect way to keep your mental and physical health.

Will you, please, say something about the training process and competitions?

The uncommercial organization Student Rowing League arranges rowing regatta for all Russian universities. The rating of the universities is formed by SRL according to the results of competitions. The competition calendar contains winter and summer seasons. The winter season begins in November and ends in March. It is held indoors by special equipment, which imitates the process of rowing. The summer season is held in March and ends in November. These competitions are outdoor. Thus, the training process is formed according to competitions. There are about fifteen or twenty events during the year. Besides, students participate in city competitions.

How has training influenced your life?

Rowing appeared in my life on time. Doing sports affects my life very much. Nowadays, it is one of the one activity that makes my day. Besides, it helps me to be psychologically healthy and develops discipline, learns to overcome myself. The rowing is the activity of my life.

What does the training process include?

The first is a warming-up. Then the coach combines various complexes of exercises. It depends on the purpose. He includes in the training process a “regime” every week. It is a control training when you do exercises intensively. This tempo is close to the competitive pace. Such control allows the trainer to keep track of results. What is more, we have two types of training. It is going to the gym and working out the technique on the stimulators. The training process always is exciting and balanced.

Are there students from various programmes in the club?

Yes, there are people from different courses and programmes such as Sociology and Social Informatics, Philology, Economics, International Business and Management Studies, and Law. Moreover, we do not have any restrictions. For example, exchange-students from Austria and China attended our club.

If you want to join the club or test your strength, you will know more on Instagram and in VKontakte. The team of the Rowing club is glad to see new people.

Text by
Arina Kozlova