BOSTON - Being a Northeastern student-athlete can be a challenge. When it comes to managing time with classes, homework, practice and other daily chores, life can become pretty hectic. Yet, many of Northeastern's student-athletes have been able to volunteer their time and effort with the CRI (Community Rowing Inc.) Adaptive Program.

Along with a successful outing at the C.R.A.S.H.-B Sprints at Agganist Arena on Feb. 14, members of the Huskies' rowing team interacted with member of the CRI Adaptive Program as part of the function.

The Adaptive Rowing philosophy has been to establish programs designed to accommodate two fundamental participant groups: rowers with physical disabilities and rowers who are intellectually challenged. All of CRI's participants do not require any previous experience.

The on-the-water programs utilize rowing shells - singles, doubles and fours - that are specially configured to accommodate adaptive athletes, as well as rowing "barges" that are also used for a range of disabilities, including visually impaired/blind rowers, and rowers with intellectual disabilities.

Rowers work with qualified instructors (including people like Northeastern student-athletes) to learn the basics of adaptive equipment configurations, getting in and out of a rowing shell, and the fundamentals of the rowing stroke appropriate to the athlete's capabilities. Adaptive athletes will row with a typical rower in a double rowing shell, with the goal of rowing independently in a specially configured single.

On Sunday, some of Northeastern's rowers, including John Peterson, Craig Kelley, Dillon Sietz, Justin Ochal, Elizabeth Carey and assistant coach David Burke volunteered their time with the indoor program. The indoor program utilizes Concept II ergometers that can be configured to accommodate the adaptive athlete. As is the case with the most experienced rowers, the "erg" provides a great instructional mechanism as well as physical conditioning, and makes the transition to water that much smoother for all.

The men's rowing team starts off its regular season at the San Diego Classic on March 27 while the women's squad will meet with Dartmouth, Boston College and Rhode Island on the Charles River on Saturday, April 3.