Rowing his way to the Pipe

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Purple Piple: Tim Colson

Jon Purdy

Every week, The Gazette awards the Purple Pipe to a standout Mustangs athlete. This week’s recipient of the award is rower Tim Colson, who shared Oarsman of the Year honours with Mike Wilkinson from Queen’s University.

We caught up with Tim this week to discuss how he got involved in rowing, the team and his thoughts on spandex.

What got you started in rowing growing up?
I was in eighth grade and got detention. The dean happened to be the rowing coach, so instead of making me sit in detention, she took me out in the motor boat with her. That’s where it started at.

What made you choose Western for rowing?
I went around to all the different schools in Ontario with big rowing programs and it came down to Western and Queen’s ... The day I came to Western the water was flat and I met with [men’s head coach Volker Nolte] and it was sunny. Walking through campus, it was a good scene.

What has contributed to the team’s success this year? [The men’s team placed first both provincially and nationally]
The only reason the team did well this year really was depth. There were no real outstanding individual performances and frankly we were sort of lucky with the [Ontario University Athletics] banner because we spread ourselves thin across all the events so we really just relied on our depth.

Are there any consequences for being late for practice? [The team practices at 5 a.m. every morning during the season]
Tardiness was a serious issue this year, and usually when you show up late Volker makes you do what are called jump squats, but this year everyone was late so often he just gave up.

How do you find time to party/see other people outside of the rowing team during the season?
I don’t. Unfortunately rowing and trying to do well at school is all I have in my life during the season. Now that it’s done for a few weeks, I plan to take it easy and catch up with some friends I haven’t seen in awhile.

How do you get used to the spandex for rowing?
There’s good spandex and bad spandex. The purple variety that we usually have to wear doesn’t fit good but you get used to it after awhile. It’s a necessary evil.

Do you have any future plans for rowing?
I just got an invite to the Olympic selection camp. So I just have to finish up this semester and head out to Victoria where the Canadian training centre is and see if I can make it.

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