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If you've ever wanted to learn how to row, Saturday is your chance.

National Learn to Row Day will be observed in Salt Lake City and across the U.S. on June 2. The Great Salt Lake Rowing Club has supported the event for the past 11 years, and is again hosting free lessons to anyone over 12. Lessons begin at 9 a.m. at the south end of the Great Salt Lake Marina, and end at 1 p.m.

"Last year, there were about 25 people who turned up who were not a part of the club," said Joe Inman, a co-founder of the rowing club and event co-chair. "In other years, we've had over 120 people show up."

The event is structured to teach first-time rowers the basics, with the help of volunteer coaches, before they actually get on the water. First, they are go through a stretching routine, then practice on a stationary rowing machine called an ergometer.

Afterward, the novices sit in a "row box" to get a feel for a real boat.

The new rowers are then paired with experienced ones, and taken onto the water.

"They can start to get the feel of it," Inman said. "They stay in the marina area and so not go into the open water."

Inman said the yearly event is one of the club's major outreaches.

"Most of our new members come in June, so it has something to do with that," he said. "Right now, we have about 25 members; we've had as many as 60 members. This is kind of a way of getting the word out."

The 64 year-old Inman has been rowing for 15 years, and encourages anyone to try it because of its low-impact, aerobic nature.

"It's great conditioning and it doesn't put a lot of pressure on the joints," Inman said. "It's kind of like riding a bike or cross country skiing." —

Learn to Row

Where • South end of the Great Salt Lake Marina.

When • Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost • Free.