URI Crew Philosophy
Drafted in 1974 by Mark Beckenbach and Pam Sastre, with input from other team members, names unknown.
Perhaps the best way to introduce URI Crew is in the sense that it is a life philosophy. We feel that crew is an extension of the classroom, complementing it rather than competing with it. In a valid sense the concept of crew can never be explained. One can only note that there is an ever present commitment to excel and that total participation is the only level that can be accepted. We also note that the team and the individual must ask for an equal commitment from and to each other; “despite the differences of those who are willing to work six days a week all year, we note that crew is much more than pulling and oar.”
We pride ourselves on our dedication and despite the fact that crew is not without its pressures we find a great deal of enjoyment in the program.
We believe that each of us has equal importance, though we are the first to admit that differences in ability, convictions, temperament, and personalities do exist. “None of us wants to hold back those who are more skillful nor have those with less ability hold us back.” We further note that there is a place in our program for anyone who wishes to earn his or her rights by their effort, and who is willing to recognize that no group or individual is entitled to special treatment.
Realizing as we do that crew is striving for perfection, we nevertheless look for good time. “Our rules are for the most part unwritten, which is a statement to the way the program is run. Decisions are essentially made by everyone.”
Away from the boathouse we do not become separate entities. We can be found everywhere together, and the problem of any one individual becomes a problem which we all try to solve.
Certainly we compete against each other but our competition is one of friendship, respect, and enjoyment. We practice two hours daily when school is in season in order to race at most, ten weekends a year. We then must question anyone’s thinking who can be satisfied only on race day. Winning is certainly a goal for us but we value it as a healthy striving. We demand enthusiasm and maximum individual effort so that out competing as a group will be successful.
The river where we practice is a tranquil place witnessing very serious activity. It is there that we find and add to a continually developing tradition.
“Each individual enriches the other. There is loyalty, friendship, and love. Those rowing look to the ideal yet realize that we are not infallible. We look to a control of ourselves, both mind and body, so that we find our values and our ability in agreement with another.”
We know that a great deal of recognition will never come to us, but we have the respect of each other and the feeling that we are an outstanding group of individuals.