Coronavirus and rowing. Is it dangerous to train? Are there some people at more risk? What precautions should you take? Antonio Spataro, Medical Officer to the Italian Rowing Association, gives his opinion

by Stefano Lo Cicero Vaina (source translated by Gillian Shaw)

Antonio Spataro, President of the Medical Commission for the Italian Rowing Association

Clubs are closing, training sessions suspended and races are at risk. Even the rowing world is suffering the effects of the coronavirus emergency that’s forcing Italy and other countries to organise themselves so as to contain the virus that’s troubling organisations and the population at large. For normal, everyday life it’s enough to follow the directions issued by the Italian Ministry for Health to reduce the risk of infection, but for sports people, they’re wondering if physical activity will put their health at risk during this period. To get some clarity on this, we asked Antonio Spataro, President of the Medical Commission for the Italian Rowing Association.

Mr Spataro, what’s your opinion of Covid-19? Does it cause a simple influenza, as some virologists have said, or is it a particularly dangerous virus?

“Coronavirus is a broad grouping of viruses, which attack the respiratory system. We have known about them for years and have caused illnesses like Sars in the past.  Now, this new respiratory disease is spreading, caused by Covid-19. In 85-90% of cases, this virus develops into a minor or moderate illness Continue reading

“Coronavirus is a broad grouping of viruses, which attack the respiratory system. We have known about them for years and have caused illnesses like Sars in the past.  Now, this new respiratory disease is spreading, caused by Covid-19. In 85-90% of cases, this virus develops into a minor or moderate illness Continue reading

From chronic asthma to Ironman

The story of how Roberto Zorcolo defied his doctors and fought to overcome his chronic asthma to become an Ironman. The entry below is an excerpt from his book followed by his bio taken from his blog. I have translated his book into English – it is awaiting publicatibook coveron.

The short run was manageable, but an asthma attack wasn’t far away. I had covered about 200 metres – better than the first time – now I had to do the 200 metres to get back, making a total distance of almost half a kilometre. Half a kilometre…who would’ve ever thought it? My heart was fit to burst with pride.
💪 I started to practice sport and look after my body, my mental health and my illness. By starting with short distances that would turn into kilometre after kilometre…  Anything is possible as you can see on my page. This photo and short extract are from my book. It can encourage you and help you understand that you move forwards by taking small steps, whatever your goal is. 🙏… Head, Heart, Legs – never give up…” (Anything is Possible, La Zattera 2016)
Continue reading

Finishing is the thing

by Vito D Agostino (translated by Gillian Shaw from the source)

From early September, the days seem to be still sleeping when you wake up. The first few rays of sunlight herald a new day and new life into the coffee-aroma-filled room. But not today. Just as the weather forecast had predicted, it had rained in the night and the sky was leaden. Forecasts are rarely wrong these days! Even after sipping my coffee, the semi-darkness of the grey morning remains. Not too different from my mood.window

I face the window and look out. I try to hold on the hope that the distant break in the clouds has cut through the dense nebulous gloom, heavy with rain. Will the weather change? In a few hours? Maybe. But we can’t hang around. Morning training is looming. We have to be moving by 8.

Finishing is the thing

I drive across the bridge to get to the seafront at Bari. The dark, turbulent waves of the sea are uninviting. It’s rougher than we could have imagined, inspiring respect. Since the end of June, the heat and colours of summer have framed our training. Today, the tones and temperature seem to signal the colder months. We leave the changing room in silence. Continue reading

Giuliano Spingardi: ‘my’ rowing

by Giuliano Spingardi (translated by Gillian Shaw from the source)

A few days ago, the President of the Italian Rowing Coach Association, Maurizio Ustolin, invited me to write an article about my rowing. On the surface, a simple request. And then, after some thought, I realised it was not so simple at all.

Giuliano Spingardi

I realised that he didn’t mean a technical ‘approach’, far too easy. But a reflection of ‘what’ rowing has meant to me. What it has ‘given me’. Describing this is not so straight forward, because for me, rowing is not a ‘memory’, it was and is ‘my life’. To describe only some aspects would be to over-simplify it.

‘My’ rowing

I began rowing in 1963, when I was 17. Convinced by my school friend, Gianpiero Galeazzi, to give this adventure a try, I left behind basketball and athletics. I’d been doing them more out of amusement than for the love of them. ‘My’ sport took a forceful hold of my already structured adult life. It started as an ‘add-on’ but became everything in time – even becoming my professional life. But that’s another story. We ‘racing members’ entered the club by the side door, the workman’s entrance. We weren’t allowed to Keep on reading!

The unbearable lightness of being a Lightweight

by Laura Ghioldi (translated by Gillian Shaw, source text)

I clearly remember the first time I sat on the rowing ergo. It was Monday 1st September 2014. And we all know a Monday is the perfect day to start something new.

Until that point, nobody had told me creation was divided into two broad categories. I used to distinguish people just by being male or female, unaware of the world being split into two by a simple set of scales!

The unbearable lightness of being

Before I encountered Indoor Rowing, my life was made up of drinking, bars, pizza, all-you-can-eat restaurants and of “pour me another” … Continue reading

Minibus Stories and the Smurf Mystery

by Vito D Agostino (translated by Gillian Shaw, source text)

The minibus. A confined, restricted space. A meeting place of bodies and souls that generates an atmosphere like no other – it pervades all the senses. And smell more than any other. Removing yourself from its spell is difficult for young rowers looking forward with trepidation to their minibus trip. These days, journeys are marked by fingers moving across touch screens. But years ago they moved across guitar chords with the rest of the group singing songs about blond-haired, blue-eyed beauties and the like. It was also a chance to spend time with the driver. The man the rowing club had entrusted with their hopes, rowers and boats, in driving them to the regatta.

minibus1

In my club, as in many others, this chap was almost always the coach. There were few resources available, and these men had so much enthusiasm and made so many sacrifices for our beloved sport. Back then, travelling in the minibus Continue reading

Translating beyond the text

As a translator of French and Italian texts into English, I specialise in business documentation, whether it’s related to straight-forward management, change management or knowledge management. As soon as I begin the process of changing the text into English, my previous corporate career experience helps me to accurately transfer its meaning.
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Travel and tourism is another specialist translation subject where I have ample experience in translating and revising copy for museums, travel and trekking websites as well as newsletters for business travel companies. The focus with this kind of text is to convey the meaning in an interesting and engaging style for the reader.
My love of outdoor sport has lead me to develop my blog on this site, where I have posted translations of articles written about sport by sports people. Related to this, I have worked on a few sports travel projects, including blog articles for a paragliding championships.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog.

Alex Bellini: “Motivation is a cheat”

by Giuseppe Lamanna (translated by Gillian Shaw) (source text)

We live on a planet we call Earth, even though 3/4 of it is covered by water. There have been more men to walk on the moon than who have rowed across an ocean. Alex Bellini has never been to outer space, but he has rowed across the Pacific. Twice.

Alex-bellini-motivazione

Alex Bellini

I’m only jealous of this guy because his profession on his ID card reads: explorer. Whereas I am just a journalist, who rows. Or at the very most, a rower who writes. But because of my job, I met him and asked for his help to find the right motivation, with the aim of spending more hours rowing than in front of the TV. It’s a pity he took the wind out of my sails, telling me not to believe in motivation. Because motivation is a cheat. Continue reading

Now it’s September, what next?

by Davide Petucco translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

imagesSeptember’s the month when everything starts again: we get back to our usual work schedule, kids go back to school, football starts again, even the winter TV schedule begins…

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always lived September as if it were a magical month, full of promise, the right time to start something new.

Now, as a cyclist, September represents a ‘middle ground’.

Weather conditions are Continue reading

Mario Palmisano: “Sweep to victory!”

by Mario Palmisano and translated by Gillian Shaw (original article)

Rowing a sport made up of choices. But most of the time it won’t be you who’ll make them – it’ll be your coach. One of these, and possibly the most important, is whether you choose to row sweep oar or to scull.

boat classes

Usually your coach will decide this based on what the squad needs or which boats are available.  It can also be down to his/her personal choice. For example, sweep oar was my coach Aldo Calì’s preference, even though he had won in the 2x with Davide Tizzano.

Sweep to victory! Continue reading