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Women's Rowing

Flynn Fund: Impact of Giving Profile - Women's Rowing

Steve Fiske is in his 14th season as the head of the women's rowing program.

Steve Fiske is in his 14th season as the head of the women's rowing program.

Feb. 28, 2013

Written by Craig Schroeder

For only the second time in 12 years, Boston College's women's crew program will be traveling overseas for competition this summer. The two week excursion to Switzerland and England provides the team with the opportunity to race on some of the world's finest courses against top international and collegiate competition. And none of it would be possible without the generosity of Flynn Fund donors and the determination of the team.

Head Coach Steve Fiske understands the sacrifices his student-athletes make to represent their University. As two-season athletes with demanding training regimens, most rowers are not afforded the opportunity to study abroad during their four years at the Heights. Taking an international team trip is one way to supplement that loss, but it comes with a heavy price tag, most of which is paid for by the contribution of donors to BC Athletics.

"I was confident we could achieve our fundraising goal because I thought once we put this opportunity for our student-athletes in front of our supporters they would see how great it would be for our program," said Fiske. "To travel to Europe and race in two of the best rowing locations in the world, is really a unique opportunity."

The importance of the trip registered almost immediately with one anonymous donor whose gift put the team more than halfway toward their goal. BC Crew rode the momentum of that donation straight into its annual "Ergathon" fundraiser with its sights set on Europe. The 60 student-athletes pulled together--literally and figuratively--to raise more than $30,000 from upwards of 330 donors and set a new "Ergathon" record.

"I'm very proud of what we've been able to accomplish this year," said Margaret Hanlon '15. "None of us could have fathomed the amount of support we received and I think it directly reflects the spirit of our alumnae, family, and friends, as well as the drive we have as a team. When we come together, our presence is overwhelming."

By the end of December, the rowing program had received more donations than the entire previous fiscal year. This unprecedented generosity will surely have an almost immeasurable impact on the team for years to come.

"This trip means so much to BC crew," said Fiske. "It will allow our student-athletes to experience life outside of the U.S. and create more perspective for them, which I think is crucial as our society becomes increasingly more global. It also significantly enhances our ability to attract top athletes. Experienced rowers dream of the opportunity to travel to England and race at Henley, and when you are one of the only schools in your conference who has gone there, it makes us that much more attractive to recruits."

In addition to the trip to Europe, donations also allowed all 60 members of BC Crew to travel to Florida this winter for a 10-day training session, an experience Fiske expects will pay dividends this spring.

"Being able to travel and train together, as well as make needed equipment upgrades, bodes well for our speed in the future," said Fiske. "On behalf of the team, I'd like to thank all of the supporters who have made this year so successful in terms of fundraising. The impact has been felt by every student-athlete, and we are extremely excited for our racing season to begin in Mid-March. We look forward to representing Boston College both at home and abroad with class and pride."

Your support to BC Athletics directly influences each and every Boston College student-athlete. If you would like to support any one of BC's 31 varsity sports through the Flynn Fund, you may do so here.

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