General Information

The CTC program runs throughout the year. We have three distinct rowing seasons – Fall, Winter/Spring, and Summer – and we operate on a rolling admission basis.

New members, after they are swim qualified, are allowed to join the team and commence training.
By mid-Spring we are on the water training in boats and prepare for competitions which typically conclude by the end of the Summer or early Fall. In addition to our sculling schedule, we plan trips to colleges for program participants. These trips are typically on a Saturday.


  • Weekdays, practice after school - 5-7pm (WATER location is Eleanor St and WINTER location is Gage Park Field House)
  • Weekends, Saturday and Sunday we practice in the morning (WATER) or 2:30 - 5:00 (WINTER)
  • On selected Saturdays and Sundays we compete in the late Spring and Summer
  • Please see our calendar for specific weekly schedule (times may change due to weather, holidays or alternate planning)

How Does This Work?

The Chicago Training Center (CTC) program is designed to teach you to excel at rowing. You will begin by proving you can pass a no-drowning test - learning to swim if needed. Once you are qualified to swim, you will train 3-6 days each week to learn on the indoor rowing machines (ergs), progress to outdoor rowing in a boat, and eventually putting your skills to the test in regattas all over the US!

In conjunction with basic training and competitions you will also learn about diet and nutrition and how to monitor your personal fitness levels.

PLEASE NOTE: Training is always scalable and programmed so that you will have constant progress. The one variable that determines your rate of improvement is dedication, consistency of effort, and ability to take instruction from the coaches. No prior experience in any sport is required and all are encouraged to give it a shot.

How Can I Apply To Join CTC?

If you are a CPS High School student, you are eligible to join the Chicago Training Center.

Most of our new program participants join in the Fall term, just as school is beginning, or before our Sping Season begins in January. You may join regardless of whether you know how to swim or not. Visit our Applications / Forms page for a full applicant packet to see what information we request. After your application is received, it is reviewed. Those applicants who are selected for the program will then be notified by a member of the CTC staff.


The Chicago Training Center (CTC) regular schedule of indoor training is currently held at the Gage Park Field House at 2411 W. Garfield (55th), Chicago. The facility is within blocks of the Orange Line stop at Western and along Western and Garfield bus lines.

The Chicago Training Center (CTC) regular schedule of on the water programming is currently held at our site on the Chicago River and Bubbly Creek at 2802 S. Eleanor St., Chicago. The facility is within blocks of the Orange Line stop at Ashland and Archer and along Archer and Ashland bus lines.

When CTC trips are organized with bus service, buses will depart and return at Gage Park at 2411 W. Garfield, unless otherwise notified. If you do not know how to travel to any of our locations please access the CTA Trip Planner for help.

Swimming Requirements

To be a member of Chicago Training Center, or any affiliated team, you must pass a basic swim test prior to getting on the Chicago River. Swimming tests will be monitored by CTC and given at multiple times over the year. Admission to the team is on a rolling basis but the swimming proficiency tests will only be given at predetermined times. Our swimming test involves passing a 5 minute treading water test and a 100m swim unaided. Though CTC is not a swim intensive program it is of paramount importance that all participants know how to navigate deep water in emergency situations. If you are nervous about your swimming proficiency please check out the Chicago Park Districts where you can take a practice test and enroll in a free learn to swim class as needed.