View Quadangles Print Version →


 

Read Class Notes Online →

 

Browse CLASSPICS

 

 

Past Issues →

 

 

 

subscribeOnline picture

 

 

Advertise with Us →

 

 

Bookmark and Share

 

 

subscribeOnline picture RSS feed

 

To Henley in Regatta Style

Shelagh Donohoe has seen the world, thanks to rowing. This summer, the URI women’s rowing coach has the chance to do the same for her team. In June, 20 team members and four coaches will head to England to compete in the famed Henley Women’s Regatta for the first time in school history.

“Just being around Olympic-caliber competition means a lot to the URI program. We want to rise up and go against the best, and this is our chance to do that.”
-Kelley Woodacre ’12 

NCAA rules limit programs to competing in international events just once every four years, making a trip to Henley truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Depending on how the team performs, it will either advance to compete at the world-famous Royal Henley Regatta, which has been held every year since 1839 (except during the two World Wars), or it will go on to compete at the Marlow Regatta at Eton Dorney. The Marlow will be held on the same course as this year’s Summer Olympics.

“A trip like this showcases what type of opportunities rowing can bring to the kids on the team,” Donohoe said. “This will be a worldly experience, both in terms of competition and culture.”

The experience goes beyond the competition. Team members will participate in several social and cultural activities during the trip. Donohoe said the cultural experiences would be just as important for the students as the international competition. “To get these kids out of the region, or even out of Rhode Island, and show them rowing on a global scale is huge,” Donohoe said. “This is a chance to open up a world of opportunities to them.”

Senior Kelley Woodacre will be among the team members making the trip. The Wellesley, Mass., native was part of URI’s 2010 Atlantic 10 championship team, but she understands heading to Henley will be a different experience altogether. “We are going to be going up against the best teams in the world,” Woodacre said. “Just being around Olympic-caliber competition means a lot to the URI program. We want to rise up and go against the best, and this is our chance to do that.”

Knowing that URI will move on to compete at either the Royal Henley or the Marlow Regatta was not lost on Woodacre: “Both are great opportunities. The Royal Henley is an historic event with so much tradition. Of course, knowing that we could race on the Olympic course just a couple of weeks before the best in the world get there is insane to think about. We also have the pressure of representing the University because we are the first URI team to participate. It’s a pressure that we want. It’s going to be an amazing experience.”

While the rowing team members will experience all that the Henley has to offer, getting the team to England has become a University-wide project. At the suggestion of Rev. Lynn Baker-Dooley, wife of URI President David M. Dooley, Donohoe connected with the school’s Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design to have outfits designed for the team.

“Having that kind of support and involvement at the top level is a huge boost,” Donohoe said. “President Dooley and the Rev. Lynn Baker-Dooley really got the blazer project going. She was the spark to turn this from an experience for the rowing team into something for the entire University, both academically and athletically.”

Fashion at Henley is as steeped in tradition as the regatta itself. Students from Karl Aspelund’s TMD 327 class in apparel design were charged with the task of designing several blazers, shirts, skirts, and accessories for the team to choose from. After spending more than a month researching the history of the culture and fashion of the regatta, the TMD students hosted a reception to unveil the recommended designs.

In all, the students presented 17 outfits. For the Henley, the team blazer is a focal point in terms of style, and the TMD students recommended a navy “boyfriend” blazer style, as the “boyfriend” offered a feminine look without being too form fitting.

“It was an amazing opportunity to be able to take what we have been learning in the classroom and apply it to real life,” said junior Jennifer Conway of North Kingstown. “Usually you work on theoretical projects for made-up clients. For us to be able to design outfits for actual people who will be representing our University was a huge deal.”

Conway said she and approximately 25 classmates took pride in knowing their work was having a direct impact on the experience of their fellow students: “What the women on the rowing team do athletically is amazing. They are going to Henley as representatives of URI, and that’s a big deal. We want them to feel good about themselves while they are there. When we conceptualized the different pieces, we wanted to show an artistic flair, but we wanted to also respect the history of Henley.”

The designs by the TMD students will be produced by fashion giant Jones of New York. URI alumnus Wes Card ‘70 is the CEO and Director of The Jones Group, Inc., and he agreed to have the company specially produce the designs. “There will be teams in England that have their outfits designed by large companies,” Donohoe said. “For us, knowing that we’ll be wearing the designs of URI students means more to us. They did an outstanding job, and knowing that Jones of New York is going to produce the clothing says a lot about the work of the students.”

Getting the support of the Dooleys, other departments at the University, and from companies like Jones of New York has helped the team stay focused on its upcoming season. Donohoe stressed that while the team is certainly excited about the opportunity that awaits this summer, it must first focus on its spring season.

Which is easier said than done. The rowing team must raise $60,000 to pay for the trip, an effort being spearheaded by Marnie Dacko, coordinator for development and marketing for women’s athletics. Dacko is working closely with Donohoe and Sarah Lobdell, associate director of Alumni Relations, to make it all happen. Dacko and Lobdell have been working on getting corporate sponsors for the team as well as reaching out to the University’s alumni base in Europe and Asia.

While in England, the team will hold two events at the exclusive Leander Club located in Remenham in the county of Berkshire. Michael Joukowsky, a member of the Leander Club, agreed to host a dinner and a champagne reception on behalf of the University: “With the work of Shelagh Donohoe and her staff, the program has shown promise nationally,” Dacko said. “They are moving up the ladder very quickly, and putting themselves against the best the world has to offer will only help.”

Now in her sixth season with the Rams, Donohoe has led Rhode Island to a pair of Atlantic 10 titles and has been the conference Coach of the Year three times. Dacko, a longtime women’s basketball coach in the college ranks, including head coaching tenures at the University of Massachusetts and Cornell, understands Donohoe’s need for support in this campaign: “This is a unique group of young women, and we want to establish the URI women’s rowing team on a national platform. That is a platform I can sell. We see how far this program has come in the last few years, and we see how far it can go.”

By Shane Donaldson ’99


Support the Team

There are many different ways to help make the rowing team’s experience at the Henley Women’s Regatta even more memorable. Supporters can make donations online by visiting uri.convio.net/donate.

There also are fundraising events and sponsorship packages listed below:

EVENTS

Yankee Cup Reception

Rowing boosters Diane and Stephen Sullivan and the Rowing Team will hold a reception on March 31 in Saunderstown. For more information email Marnie Dacko, or call 401.874.7443.

The Leander Club

While in England for the Henley Regatta, the URI Alumni Association and rowing team will hold a pair of events at the exclusive Leander Club. Located in Remenham in the English county of Berkshire, the Leander Club adjoins Henley-on-Thames and is one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world. Club member and URI supporter Michael Joukowski will host both events.

The first event is a dinner on June 14 at 6 p.m. The event is $250 per person and is limited to 110 attendees. The second event is a champagne reception on June 16 at 6 p.m. The reception is $100 per person and is limited to the first 40 registrants.

Interested parties can register online at advance.uri.edu/alumni/athletics or by contacting Sarah Lobdell at 401.874.2438 or slobdell@advance.uri.edu.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

URI has established four different sponsorship packages for the rowing team.

Varsity 8+ $25,000

◊ Access for four people to accompany the coach in the coaching launch during a practice before the Henley trip.

◊ One table at the Leander Club Dinner in England on June 14, 2012.

◊ Four tickets to the champagne reception at the Leander Club in England on June 16, 2012.

◊ Recognition in the URI alumni magazine QUAD ANGLES, with distribution to more than 100,000 alumni.

◊ Four tickets to the 2012 Yankee Cup Reception in Saunderstown, R.I., on March 31, 2012.

◊ Recognition in all marketing literature.

◊ Corporate logo on travel bags and jackets.

Coaches Sponsor $10,000

◊ Access for two people to accompany the coach in the coaching launch during a practice before the Henley trip.

◊ Two tickets to the champagne reception at the Leander Club in England on June 16, 2012.

◊ Recognition in the URI alumni magazine QUAD ANGLES, with distribution to more than 100,000 alumni.

◊ Four tickets to the 2012 Yankee Cup Reception in Saunderstown, R.I. on March 31, 2012.

◊ Corporate logo on travel bags and jackets.

Pair Sponsors $5,000

◊ Access for two people to accompany the coach in the coaching launch during a practice before the Henley trip.

◊ Two tickets to the 2012 Yankee Cup Reception in Saunderstown, R.I., on March 31, 2012.

◊ Corporate logo on travel bags and jackets.

Individual Rower Sponsor $2,500

◊ Two tickets to the 2012 Yankee Cup Reception in Saunderstown, R.I., on March 31, 2012.

◊ URI women’s rowing sweatshirt and cap.

Comments are open, but there are no comments.

Leave a Comment

Most comments will be posted within 24 hours of submission.

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free

Web Extras

Scholar-Athlete Spotlight

W. Alton Jones Campus — By the Numbers

The President’s View

The State of College Affordability

Features

To Henley in Regatta Style

Designs on Unassisted Living

Dredging up Global Solutions

Alex & Ani: A Vital Force in Rhode Island

Mehul Sheth is Flying High

Big Moments in the Woods

News & Views

A Perfect Match: Student-Athletes Help Save Two Lives

Empowering Palliative Care Givers in Romania

National Media Authority Heads Harrington School

College Memories Vivid for 100-year-olds

One for the Book!

The Art of Teaching

Students Host Political Boot Camp

Big Discovery of Little Dinosaurs

Press Box

URI Alumni Reach NFL

Football Captain is National Scholarship Finalist

Shoniker, James Continue Hoops Careers

Cameron Makes a Strong Impression With U.S. National Team

Mackal, Keaney Get Facelifts

Class Acts Profiles

David A. Todd ’74

Paula Norton Madriles ’71

Elaine Mack ’58

Juliette Nash ’06

Mary Earle Larsen ’04

Michael Lobdell ’96, M.A. ’10

Back Page

Built From Westerly Granite

Alumni Chapters →

Wrapups

Big Chill Weekend 2012

Alum of the Game

Upcoming Events

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament

Come Back to your Alma Mater

Three Inspiring Days for Writers




QuadAngles © 2014 URI Alumni Association. All rights reserved. Produced by the Office of Publications and Creative Services for the URI Alumni Association, Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Rd., Kingston, RI 02881. Phone: 401-874-2242 | Contact Quadangles