The team at the George Pocock Rowing Foundation continues to do invaluable work day in and day out. Once again, we're highlighting our hardworking staff, next with Sarah Catto, Program Manager and Youth Head Coach at Renton Rowing Center.
Sarah runs the programs at the Renton Boathouse, ensuring that everyone who wants to row gets the chance! We sat down with Sarah and learned about her own rowing career and what brought her to RRC and the GPRF.
Tell us about how you got into rowing?
I started rowing my junior year of high school. Swimming was my sport at the time, when I got asked by a random Australian man while getting ice cream one day, if I wanted to come down and try it. The team just started 2 weeks before I came down, we had 3 eight boats and 9 girls to row in it. We rowed out of a parking lot, our boats sat on the trailer and we water launched but I fell in love with it immediately. High Point Rowing Club was an awesome way to start out my rowing career, we learned a bit about everything, how to drive a launch, how to fix boats and honestly how to be a team.
What made you decide to pursue rowing as a profession?
I went to Liberty University and rowed there for 4 years, the boats were brand new and it was amazing, but starting at High Point really gave me the biggest appreciation for how lucky we were as a college team to have brand new boats.
I coached for High Point when I would go home in the summers, and that's what made me decide I wanted to one day be a boathouse director.
I majored in Sports Management, and to finish my degree I needed to do an internship. I made it back to high point and became the head coach for the summer right after graduating college, then I had the opportunity to move across the country for an internship here in Renton Washington. I worked for both Renton Rowing Center as a middle school and masters coach, and the George Pocock Rowing Foundation as an Erg Ed instructor. I easily worked with over 500 kids in schools that year teaching them how to erg and inviting them down to the boathouse. I got a few to join Renton Rowing and they are still here today! After that year, the opportunity for being the Director of Renton Rowing Center became available. I applied and got the job! It's crazy to think I didn't think I would have my dream job by 23 but here we are.
I love Renton Rowing Center, we really are an open community that gives anyone the chance to row.