After four years of promoting various events with Concept2’s local partners, the sport of indoor rowing is gaining some traction in China, also known as the “Middle Kingdom.” While there has been extensive support through the Olympic Athlete Development Programs, indoor rowing is now reaching recreational rowers. Local gyms and sports bureaus sponsor indoor races to promote fitness at all levels.
The underlying mantra of the races has been 男女老小都能用, which translates to “whether you are a man or a women, young or old, everyone can participate.” The races have varied formats, from challenges focused on local fitness enthusiasts (such as the Annual Shanghai Challenges) to an 800-person race for the local senior ladies Mulan Club. Races range from 1 minute, 300 metres, 500 metres, to traditional 2000 metre races. The most popular races are the team relays of 4 x 500 metres or 5 x 2 minutes. If everything goes according to plan, we should see dozens of races spring up in China in the new year!