Spotlight On Returning Board Member: Dr. Sara Lopez

The Pocock Foundation is excited to welcome Sara Lopez, Director of the Center for Leadership in Athletics (CFLA) at the University of Washington, back to the Board. Sara brings a wealth of experience in the world of rowing, from non-profit administration to coaching and coaching development.

The heart she has for the sport of rowing and how it can be transformative for youth is evident in her answers below as much as it is evident in her professional background. Sara served as the Rowing Services Director at USRowing for seven years ending in 1995 and from there served as the NW Director for the Special Olympics Washington. This year marks her 30th year coaching at the Conibear Rowing Club on Lake Washington. Her recent work as director at CFLA brings her into the realm of coaching development every day as she works alongside students who want to bring the power of sport to kids.

Thanks for all your inspiring words below, Sara!

What motivates you to serve on the Pocock Foundation Board? “First, I believe in the transformative power of sport, be it rowing or any other sports experience. The second factor is my appreciation for the focused and meaningful work that the GPRF is engaged with through and beyond the rowing community. The historical achievements of the Foundation and the potential for continued impact at this time is exciting and motivating to me.”

If you were trying to convince a 12 year-old to jump in a boat and try rowing for the first time, what would you say? “Convincing a 12-year old of trying anything new and different can be a challenge! This is also a critical time of life, especially for girls, in terms of staying engaged with physical activity. My focus would describe rowing as a place to spend time learning something new with others who don’t know how to do it either. I’d also emphasize an opportunity to be out on the water and taking on new challenges with your friends.”

If you counted every rowing stroke in your life, how many rowing strokes have you ever taken? “Since FitBit was not yet a tech glimmer during my time as a collegiate rower and occasional times with oar(s) in hand since then, my estimate of strokes taken is based on paper and pencil math guesstimates…. and totals 345,603! My number of strokes rowed is actually much lower than my number of rowing strokes coached – in fact this number increases by a factor of almost 25X. Now entering my 32nd year of coaching, my estimate is that during the upcoming year I will pass the 8.5 million coached strokes!”

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