Over 100 members of the Stockton community were inspired by the First Lady of Stockton and others who delivered heartfelt speeches when they gathered at Stockton Collegiate for the second annual Catch The Current breakfast on June 7th to benefit our Girls Row Stockton team.
Pat Tirone, DSC’s President and Head Coach, kicked off the event with an encouraging rundown of all the progress made throughout the year in each of DSC's four programs: Masters, Freedom Rows, OarBusters, and Girls Row Stockton, with GRS being the focus of the morning fundraiser.
Lange Luntao, Director of Stockton Scholars and Executive Director of Reinvent Stockton Foundation, spoke for the second year in a row at this event. He ignited the room with energy and focused on the importance of fostering and supporting positive, well-rounded experiences for youth in our community. Luntao, Stockton Unified School District Board Trustee, co-wrote with Pat a successful grant proposal that brought the Erg Ed® curriculum along with twenty ergometers (i.e. land rowing machines) to Stockton middle and high schools.
Recognitions were also a highlight of the morning. DSC’s inaugural Heart of the Delta Award was given to Dr. Amy Scriven, DDS, for all of her ongoing support in the community for youth sports. She delivered a beautiful poem, Kids in Sports, that captured many of the life lessons youth learn from being athletes on teams such as GRS. Several DSC Masters were also recognized for volunteering their time and expertise to help coach and assist during GRS’s first season. Rebecca Abreu, Renaldo Abreu, Carol Coddington, Beverly Klunk, Dr. Robert Lee, Dr. Robert Oprandy, Linn Payne, and Kim Sparrowk were recognized for their commitment, time, and dedication in support of coaches Pat and Maya Weldon-Lagrimas, who doubled as a team member and coach of GRS in its inaugural year.
Following Khushi Kooner, a first-year sculler who gave a touching speech, her first ever to an audience, about her experiences on the team, Maya mentioned several lessons she learned from sculling with and coaching her teammates, such as “age is no measure of capability” and “commitment is what creates talent”.
And last but not least a joyful and insightful keynote speech was delivered by the First Lady of Stockton, Mrs. Anna Malaika Nti-Asare-Tubbs. Mrs. Tubbs spoke about growing up with sports, especially swimming. Then she spoke about the power of sports in young women’s development of confidence, balance and discipline in their lives and told the GRS team, “You are talented, you are strong, and you can do anything."
Girls Row Stockton was created in 2018 by Pat and Maya. As a high-school student at Stockton Collegiate, Maya approached Coach Pat one day after sculling practice with the Masters (there was no longer a rowing team for youth in Stockton). She asked if DSC would be interested in starting an all-inclusive girls’ team. The first Catch the Current event that took place in June of 2018 raised enough money and garnered enough support from the community to launch GRS into their first season! With six girls on the main squad, Coaches Pat and Maya, supported by eight DSC Masters, led the team through weekly land training, practice on the water, and several regional regattas in Sacramento, Oakland, and San Pedro Reservoir. They were also supported by the efforts of parents, led by Dr. Raissa Hill, who got them to practices and regattas and fed them copiously at their races and at a memorable celebration at the end of the year.
With Coach Maya leaving this year to study at Yale, her legacy will continue. Coach Georgiana Ogrean from Lake Merritt Rowing Club has filled in admirably by working with the young ladies at the GRS summer camp sessions (in June and July), helping to build the squad for the 2019-20 season. We are excited to have Georgiana play such an important role at Delta Sculling Center!
For more information on how to get involved in GRS or any other DSC program, contact Pat.
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