Historic Women Creating Spaces for Women to Excel
It’s on the shoulders of these trailblazers that we stand today, personally I am indescribably grateful for their contributions to our programs and professions. Their resiliency to press forward despite glass ceilings, patriarchal precedent, and barriers to equality enabled them to painfully carve out the spaces that we have today in male-dominated environments like athletics and high-level professional environments.
Women's History Month 2023
The history of women in sports is full of obstacles and discrimination. For a long time, women were considered physically weak and unsuitable for sports. At first, they were not allowed to play sports in various sports associations at all. Over time, the situation changed, and women's sports associations were established. Even after the formation of associations, they could not participate in competitions, races, or matches.
Athlete Spotlight: Nikki Hallahan
Meet Nikki Hallahan, a freshman on the rowing team at Purdue University. Nikki started rowing in high school, and hasn't looked back! Her favorite pre-practice snack is a protein shake she makes in her dorm room with protein powder, almond milk, vitamins/supplements, and yogurt. Her favorite seat is bow seat in a 4x, and she is also bisweptual when rowing sweep! Read about how special rowing is to her, what her goals are for the season, and what she recommends to high schoolers considering rowing in college.
National Girls and Women in Sports Day 2023
In recognition of National Girls and Women in Sports Day on February 1, 2023, we asked three of our ambassadors, Zola, Mallory, and Nancy, about their experiences in sports. Read about how these women feel about being an athlete, their accomplishments in sport, and what they would like to see for girls and women in the future.
Finding Strength and Recovery Through Rowing
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are highlighting one of our Team JL Ambassadors, Michelle Lyons, who discovered rowing after going through treatment for breast cancer. Read about how Michelle's breast cancer journey led her to find the sport and community of rowing.
Team JL Spotlight: Joanne Culley
Team JL Ambassador Joanne Culley may not have been introduced into the rowing world until she was 43 years old, but she has been loving every minute of it for the last 10 years. Joanne prefers the wildness of rowing at sea over flat water rowing, starting with gig rowing, and more recently - coastal rowing. Keep reading to learn about gig rowing vs coastal rowing, the exciting World Pilot Gig Championships, and Joanne's goals for Coastal World Championships this year.
JL Spotlight: Kateryna Maistrenko
Kateryna (Katya) Maistrenko grew up around rowing. Her mom and dad both represented their countries in the 1988 and 1972 Olympics, respectively. They built and operated a large rowing center in Ukraine while Katya grew up. It was only natural that she started rowing when she was just 9 years old. Throughout her rowing career, Katya has rowed on the Ukrainian National Team, as well as for an NCAA Division I school in Washington. She was in the US when the war broke out in Ukraine. She found comfort by continuing to train on the water while also fundraising to support the people of Ukraine.
Mother's Day 2022 Gift Guide
Whether they are biological or not, moms play such an integral part in our lives. This Mother's Day, consider giving your favorite crew mom a gift to show them how much you appreciate them. Not sure where to start? We've curated a list of gifts for the moms that row, and the moms that help support rowing teams. Check out these perfect Mother's Day gifts!
Team JL Spotlight: Rusna Sangha
Team JL Ambassador, Rusna Sangha is working to increase Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the sport of rowing, one stroke at a time. After joining her local rowing team, she realized that although there were similarities between her and the other rowers, there was one thing that made her different: She was one of only three BIPOC athletes on the team. By the end of her novice year, she was the only BIPOC athlete left on the team. Read about Rusna's story, and her goals for not only herself as a rower, but for increasing DEI in rowing as a community.
Team JL Spotlight: Gianna Perugini
Determined, adaptable, and dedicated are three words Team JL Ambassador, Gianna Perugini, uses to describe herself as an athlete. From rower to coxswain to adaptive rower, Gianna has loved being involved in the sport of rowing since she was 9 years old.
One Rowing Stroke at a Time - Surviving Stage 3 Breast Cancer for 20 Years
Former rower, Beth Gardner, has published her book, One Rowing Stroke at a Time - Surviving Stage 3 Breast Cancer for 20 Years. "The book takes the reader down my journey of battling stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 30. In short, I was diagnosed one month after my 30th birthday, one year after retiring from the elite sport of Rowing and 3 weeks before running my first marathon," she said. "Without having the firsthand experience as an elite level of rower AND having been coached by both the late Igor Grinko and late Ted Allison Nash, I may not have had the will to beat the non-discriminatory disease."
Women's History Month: 24 Hour Indoor Row
In honor of Women's History Month and International Women's Day (March 8th), we sat down with Team JL Ambassador, Rachel Smillie to ask her what she is doing to celebrate women in sport. Her answer? A Guinness World Record attempt on the indoor rowing machine to travel the furthest distance by a female team in 24 hours. Keep reading to learn about the details of a row like this, why she is taking on this challenge, and what Rachel hopes to accomplish by taking part in a 24 hour row