- Middletown, Connecticut
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When Ryan asked us to write something about Sparks CT to see if they could get the top slot I was only too happy to do so. The amount of time these people spend thinking about junior rowing camp and education is way beyond the norm. They contact professors in experiential education to design the programming for this camp then bounce the ideas off parents like me. This is a high-peformance rowing camp that is also somehow good for our kids' hearts and minds. Our daughter isn't only a better rower, but is a happier person thanks to Sparks Camps.
Our daughter - a coxswain - said this was the best camp she attended over the summer, though she also enjoyed several of the other ones as well. Having two coaches for coxswains was very helpful.
The ratio of coaches to campers is so helpful - I got a lot of good feedback from Coach Tynan.
Every summer we've sent our son to rowing camps, but we can't compare any of them to the Sparks camp… he came back more excited about rowing than we've ever seen him. The individual coaching helped him improve in a few critical areas… the staff were awesome and numerous, and it felt like they'd been at camp longer than the actual time at the end… he came back and made it into the varsity for the first time, and we believe part of that is due to Sparks camp… he'll also be rowing in college next year, and our family has been thankful again for the advice he received from the coaches.
Camp gave me a better idea of my potential as an athlete. The staff was awesome, and I learned a lot about my erg from them, but they really seemed to want to help in any little way they could. I found out more about my stroke and whether I have a chance at rowing in college. Camp was a few days, but it felt longer given the amount of information passed around in that time. I appreciated the spirit of it because the staff worked so hard to make it good for us… I found direction in the sport to grow personally and for college.
Our son very much enjoyed his time at camp. As a coxswain, we had to sign up early to get in for this one (April) but was worth it given the one on one work - he is now in the first 8+.
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Director of Coxswain Coaching
Marcus is a six-time world medalist, three-time world champion, and an Olympic bronze medalist coxswain from Philadelphia. He holds a B.A. from Temple University and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco. He has worked at Sparks since 2010. As a coxswain, he is intimately acquainted with the recruiting and training issues around specialized sport positions and is the primary architect of Sparks' coxswain curriculum.