Letter to Parents - February 2010

Dear Parents of Case Crew Athletes:

For those of you who haven't gotten an email from me before, my name is Doug Rathburn. I graduated from Case in 1997 and after picking up an oar for the first time in 1993 I haven't stopped. I'm currently a masters rower in North Carolina, but I still help the team by organizing the alumni and parents of Case Crew.

A few on this list have been getting regular updates from me, but I wanted to welcome a new crop of parents to SARA (more on that later) and to the spring season. Your son or daughter has been in the gym on a device called "The Erg" for a couple months and will be kicking off their spring racing season at the URA Championships in Butler, PA. I want to personally thank you for supporting your child in their quest for championship gold.

I rowed at Case for four years and also knew many varsity athletes. It takes a special individual to dedicate the necessary time to train but also volunteer to fundraise and/or sit on the Board. This level of involvement creates life long friendships and a bond to the sport that can last a lifetime. How many people do you know that still competitively swim, run track, play football, etc. after college? We have a number of alumni still rowing and just this year had a 8+ entered into the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston fully comprised of Case Crew alumni. Just this past month 12 of us finished 1.4 million meters on the erg as part of a national team challenge.

As part of our organizing effort, the alumni of Case Crew created a 501(c)(3) organization -- the Spartan Alumni Rowing Association (SARA) -- in 2003. SARA exists to foster alumni involvement, host alumni activities, and raise money for the team. We regularly post results and team information on our web site: SpartanAlumniRowing.org. The site is updated after each race/event and contains a ton of information regarding the team and its history. Plus almost 5,000 photos!

A common concern I hear from parents is the time rowing takes away from studies. What I can say is that our alumni list shows that being a successful rower is not mutually exclusive to being a good student. Taking studies and sport seriously developments time management and team building skills that easily transfer to the professional realm. Also, being a club sport on campus adds a whole new dimension to the challenge. The team must organize and fundraise for it's existence and rely on the generosity of volunteer coaches (more in the "About" section of the web site). We now have hundreds of alumni all around the globe that have gone on to great careers yet were extremely active on the rowing team -- a testament rowing and a Case education. Your support is critical to their entire university experience.

We've created a small parents section on the SARA web site: www.SpartanAlumniRowing.org/SARA_parent.html
Please take some time to check it out and please feel free to contact me with any questions. If anyone would like to organize food or a cheering section for one of the spring events let me know. The entire schedule is posted on the SARA main page. The spring alumni regatta is shaping up to be a great event if you can make it into Cleveland. During the morning session you can watch the team race their cross-town rivals from John Carroll and Cleveland State. Afterwards they will race various alumni crews that have made it back into town. The day should be a lot of fun and one of the best spectating opportunities of the year.

Thanks and best regards,

Doug Rathburn
Spartan Alumni Rowing Association





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Last modified: February 1, 2010
Supporting Case Crew and the Spartan Navy since 2003