One week countdown!
The girls waving goodbye... for NOW!! Girls Row Stockton will be back for the fall season on August 7!!
We finished our summer camps on Friday, July 27 with an exhibition row from our girls. It was unbelievable - the scullers have gone from incredible nerves in a quad:
To spending some time in singles...
To really becoming a team!
What a day! We had time for a circuit before getting out on the water, and then a quick warm-up before we started doing pieces with doubles and singles. The important thing to remember about sculling is that even though we sometimes row in just one boat, we are ALWAYS a team. We represent Girls Row Stockton - a sculling team that wants to work hard, go fast, and grow strong as a team. Looking at the picture above, we might look like a bunch of different boats trying to compete against one another, but we have to work as a team to make all of this happen!
When we are on a team, we feed off of one another - we can find our best selves when our community is there to support our search. As competitors, we can push each other to achieve greater things than we thought possible - but only if we, ourselves, are putting in that effort.
Who's excited for Girls Row Stockton!?
First of all, let me say that I am so proud of all of the girls for their hard work this week. They have made INCREDIBLE strides since they first started learning this difficult sport, only 3 weeks ago! If you think about it, they've only had at maximum 15 days on the water. Yesterday, the last day of practice this week, they rowed 6 kilometers together - that's a good row! We wouldn't be able to do this if the girls weren't committed to the sport, to improvement, and most of all, to each other.
On that final note, we took some time at the end of practice on Friday to talk about how to improve our teamwork skills for the coming week (and hopefully, the Fall season!!). We planned out some of the actions that we want to stop, some that we want to start, and some that we want to continue. The girls were very thoughtful about how they have been treating their teammates, how they want to grow closer to their teammates, and how they want to be treated, themselves.
This Friday, on the last day of practice, we are planning a little exhibition row for all of you supporters - so put that on your calendar and keep your eyes peeled for more details! We will have a little picnic, certificates of completion, racing, and hopefully the opportunity for you all to ride alongside the girls, either in a launch or other boat. It's going to be very exciting!
Take a look at some of the photos we have from this week!
Our first day back on the water this week and we were joined by two big tugboats, waiting for a GIANT freighter. We took haven in back in the cove, and then started right back out again. Very cool. In the quad are Nia, Rainne, Giolanna, and Hannah, from left-to-right (bow-to-stern)
On Wednesday, we were joined by two amazing women - Anna Malaika NtiAsare-Tubbs, wife of Stockton Mayor Tubbs and all-around wonder woman. Anna went to Stanford, then Cambridge, and is now working on her PhD. She is devoted to improving young people's understanding of social injustices, and it was a great opportunity for Girls Row Stockton to have her attend part of our practice! After the girls got off the water, they had time for a short q&a with our second fantastic visitor, pictured above: Daphne Martschenko. Daphne grew up in Virginia, where she started rowing in high school. After some setbacks - like being cut from a major juniors rowing camp right after high school - she rallied her inner strength to push toward her goals... and she succeeded! Daphne rowed for 3 years at Stanford, then she continued rowing at Cambridge, where she was the first woman of color to race at the oldest and most famous boat race in the world, the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. Not only that... but she won, twice! Daphne is now the president of the Cambridge University Women's Boat Club, and she spends her time here in the United States helping run a summer camp devoted to overcoming the summer learning gap for middle school students. A couple of paraphrased highlights from the q&a:
Question: Did you ever want to go to the Olympics?
Daphne: I did, once. But goals change. There are a lot of different things that make rowing worthwhile... and now I'm spending my time giving back to the community that gave so much to me. You can start rowing for a lot of different reasons; whether you want to row in college, or you want to get in shape, or if you want to be part of a team. There are a lot of lessons that we can take away from rowing, and a lot of important goals that you can achieve that aren't just the Olympics!
Question: How long did it take you to become a 'master' at rowing?
Daphne: (laughs) Well, I've been rowing for 13 years... and there are still things that I'm working on. That's a beautiful thing about rowing - you are never perfect, you just keep trying to get better.
Question: What was your biggest fear when you started rowing?
Daphne: Flipping the boat! I wasn't a good swimmer, I was so scared of going in the water!
Question: Did you ever flip?
Daphne: Yes! Twice! But I got back in!
A couple of photos from Friday Practice: see if you can spot your sculler!!!
Finally, two photos from our Stop-Start-Continue after practice on Friday, with the girls working together to come up with some ways they will improve their teamwork. what great kids!
Thank you all so much for your continued support -
Looking forward to getting EVEN BETTER in the week to come, and having tons of fun!
Dr. Bob Oprandy & Dr. Pat Tirone