From the successes of the NCR Ergathon and Valley Gives, to weathering the spring thaw (mostly on land), to adjusting through coaching shifts, and rallying members for our learn to row days, it has been non stop action.
Through the dreaded "Now what?" moments to the inspiring "You mean I can learn how to row?" moments, it has occurred to me on more than a few occasions that the success of a rowing club, specifically this rowing club, is truly built on it's members dedication to their sport, their community, and their desire to leave a legacy. That goes for Juniors and Masters rowers.
But what does it mean exactly to leave a legacy? That can feel a bit daunting right? How does a rowing club of 20 or 50 or 150 people operationalize that? What does it look like? Imagine NCR 50 years from now. What do we want those rowers to know? The simple answer is it starts with an overarching culture.
This is who we are, and this is how we do things.
It doesn't matter whether you are a junior or a masters rower. It doesn't matter whether you row in the AM or the PM. It doesn't matter whether you've rowed for 20 years or 20 minutes. If you are rowing, or coxing, or coaching at NCR you understand who we are and how we do things. Who we are, speaks to our character, our club ethic. How we do things speaks to anything from how we carry our oars to how we load the trailer to how we compete together.
So I'll start us off with the first two foundational elements of who we are and how we do things. These are easy because I see the evidence of these two character traits everyday.
We are welcoming and we are supportive.
I see this in every learn to row that we do. I see this in every experienced rower that jumps into boats with LTR's. I see this when junior rowers come to help out with summer youth LTR programs or when a jr novice has to jump into a boat with varsity rowers and is welcomed and supported. I see it whenever I ask for volunteers to help with a myriad of tasks that running and maintaining a rowing club requires.
We welcome anyone and everyone that sets foot on our site and shows a willingness to jump into this crazy sport of rowing. We are supportive because we all know, no matter what age you are, how intimidating it can be to try something completely unknown that is physically difficult and mentally challenging. This is who we are and this is how we do things! This is the character of the club. Not just our reputation, but our ethic.
If you think that these qualities exclude being tough competitors we need to sit down for a conversation. It is exactly those two elements that are the foundation of some of the most competitive rowing clubs in the world. Because no community rowing club starts out excluding people. They start out including people and building a competitive force from that.
So I'll leave you with something to chew on. A question for you to ponder in a quiet moment.
What is your ethic as an NCR rower and how do you express that?
Here's to all of the parents, rowers, board members, and supporters that have come from this little club that could, because without you, I wouldn't be here writing these words and passing on your legacy.