In an effort to strengthen the team's commitment to service, community, and leadership, the Temple University
Women's Rowing Team participated in a Marine Corps Leadership training course last weekend. The course, led by 10 highly decorated combat officers, gave more than 40 team members a chance to participate in teamwork exercises, meet and speak with seasoned veterans, and acquire knowledge and leadership skills from active-duty Marines.
The Friday evening banquet featured keynote speaker and Philadelphia native General Ronald S. Coleman, who spoke to team members about the importance of persistence, dedication, and always doing your best. The General pointed out that the rowing team exemplified all of the skills that good leaders require, comparing Marine Basic Training to daybreak training sessions on the Schuylkill.
Head Coach Jason Read appreciated the parallels the General drew between leadership, representing the country as service member, and being a successful athlete. “General Coleman recognized the dedication and teamwork required to be a successful Division 1 varsity rower,” Read said.
On Saturday, the conference attendees began the day by confronting various challenging scenarios that face successful leaders, followed by a series of team-building exercises and game theory challenges. The day ended with a keynote speech by Major General Clifford Stanley.
After attending the seminar, Coach Read and his Owls have taken these tenets of leadership and service to their riverside home on Kelly Drive at the Fairmount Park's East Park Canoe House. Armed with rakes, shovels, and an armada of trash bags and work gloves, the team has committed to cleaning up their stretch of Kelly Drive along the Schuylkill River once a month.
“Cleaning the park is a great initiative for us as a team,” said sophomore Megan Boyer
(Cocalico, Pa), a Chemistry and German double major. “It's a chance for us to take the ideas of service and leadership and put them in to action. It's important to give back to a community that's helped our team and our sport.”
Junior Jeanine Lees
(Lafayette Hill, Pa) stated, “I've been rowing on the Schuylkill River since I was in middle school. It's important we keep this natural treasure clean and inviting for families and visitors to the area. Fairmount Park is one of Philadelphia's most historic treasures.”
As the Owls prepare for the Temple-hosted Murphy Cup Regatta on March 24, the team's dedication both to the sport and to the Philadelphia community is setting Temple Women's Rowing up for a fantastic 25th season.