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VIRGINIA ROWING ASSOCIATION, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, USA

“I CAN SAY THAT HAVING SHOES THAT CAN GO IN ANY SEAT, PERHAPS CUSTOMIZED WITH SHIMS, THAT CAN BE HUNG AND DRIED BETWEEN PRACTICES IS ONE OF THE BEST QUALITY-OF-LIFE IMPROVEMENTS I'VE SEEN RECENTLY IN THIS SPORT.”

Virginia Rowing’s Associate Head Coach, Alan Kush

“When five of our boats needed the shoes replacing at a cost of $100- $200 per pair, we looked for an alternative and found BAT Logic.” says Virginia Rowing’s Associate Head Coach, Alan Kush. “We thought, what if we can persuade the athletes to buy their own shoes? Why not? As an athlete I’d like my own shoes.”

Virginia Rowing is associated with the University of Virginia and is not-for-profit organization that relies on fund-raising and donations. The cost for the rowing program is $2,000 per athlete but only $500 is required to be out of pocket. The rest is achieved through club fund-raising, alumni donations and corporate team building.

Alan presented a business case for switching to the BAT Logic click-in-click-out system which enables rowers to use either correctly fitting club shoes or their own shoes in any boat. “We thought we’d have push back from finance, but they’ve been our best allies. Although it’s an investment, over time it will remove a budget line item.”

Virginia Rowing ordered BasePlates and ShoePlate Tops plus the few extra shoes required. Athletes had the choice to use club shoes if they preferred. “Some find the cost prohibitive, but it’s not compared to other sports. Soccer players buy their own boots and rowing shoes last a lot longer, especially if they are taken out of boats after training, so talking to people in that context helped.”

Using BAT Logic, athletes get to use a pair of shoes that fit plus the BAT Logic ShoePlates won’t wear out over time so, in the long term the club saves costs. “It’s great for coaches too as rowers no longer complain about shoes! People who buy their own shoes are definitely happier as the sizing is truer.”

Shoes are removed from the boats each day and hung on a purpose-built rack at the club to enable them to dry. Club owned shoes and individual owned shoes are separated. For those who need to use club shoes, they simply grab them on the way in.

“BAT Logic has been great for the corporate days where there is a huge variation in sizes. The QuickRelease System has been great for quality of life at the club but ultimately it was a financial decision. The feedback from the rowers has been very positive. After installing the QuickRelease on the fleet, many of the rowers chose to order their own shoes.

“It was an investment to overhaul an entire fleet, but we are extremely satisfied and would recommend this system to any large team.”