Boat names are important in rowing. As we strive to create a true community program, we are committed to naming boats in line with our mission and values.
We are purposeful in recognizing:
Those who are committed to the growth of our sport and/or the empowerment of Tacoma's youth or
Cultural concepts and values recognizing the diversity of our community and the value of cross-cultural learning
We want our athletes, volunteers and the broader community to:
Learn from and be inspired by the names on our boats
See their own rich cultures and traditions reflected in the names on our boats
Our Current Fleet
Quincy & Whitni Henry
We are proud to recognize all that Quincy & Whitni Henry of Campfire Coffee do for the Tacoma community. Not only do they provide great coffee in a welcoming atmosphere, Campfire has a gear library for people to borrow outdoor equipment. They also assist youth-focused outdoor groups with fundraising efforts. This shell will be the flagship racing boat of our fleet for many years to come. Thank you to Wintech Racing for donating a carbon fiber, 8-person shell as part of their support for STEM to Stern Rowing. (Boat type: 8+)
Mayor Victoria Woodards
Mayor Victoria Woodards is a Tacoma native and a veteran of the United States Army. As mayor, she has worked to more fully engage the City’s youth in community decisions that impact them every day. Mayor Woodards has demonstrated her commitment to identify and advance positive outcomes for community members in need, including immigrant and refugee communities. She is also a past president of the Tacoma Urban League. (Boat type: 8+)
Ashley L. Pryor
Arshay is a rower, author of the “A Most Beautiful Thing,” His book was also adapted into a documentary of the same name which is available to stream on Amazon Prime and Peacock. Arshay is a motivational speaker and activist. He previously worked at Row New York and currently works with the George Pocock Foundation and A Most Beautiful Thing Inclusion Fund to bring rowing to under-resourced communities. In 2017, Arshay received USRowing's Anita DeFrantz Award, which is given for advancing diversity in rowing. Our favorite quote from Arshay: "Talent is everywhere, access and opportunities are not." Find out more about Arshay and his work on his website and on Instagram. (Boat type: 1x)
Patrick Johnson, US Navy
Patrick Johnson is a US Navy veteran with 20 years of experience coaching high school, college and adaptive athletes. He is an outspoken advocate for youth, LGBTQ+, BIPOC and veterans. Patrick is the National Rowing Program Director and Metro DC Sports Director of Athletes Without Limits. Patrick is also the Managing Coach for the Community Program at DC Strokes, one of very few dedicated, independent LGBTQ+ rowing clubs in the world. He is the Adaptive Reconditioning & Sports Coordinator for the Military Adaptive Sports Program at the Defense Health Agency. In 2019 Patrick received USRowing’s Isabel Bohn Award, which is given for expanding rowing opportunities for those with physical and intellectual disabilities. (Boat type: 4+)
Ubuntu is a Zulu word meaning "I am, because of you." It is part of the Zulu phrase "Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu", and has many interpretations. It has been cited by inspirational leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. We chose Ubuntu because we believe that we can only grow and progress through the growth and progression of others. More information in available in this article. (Boat type: 2x/-)
Ohana is a Hawaiian word meaning family. In its current usage, ohana refers to both blood relatives and chosen family. We chose Ohana because we this program is a family. (Boat type: 2x/-)
Saoirse is an Irish word meaning freedom. We chose saoirse because we believe in and actively support freedom for all people in Tacoma and around the world. (Boat type: 2x/-)
This boat is named in honor of Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020), who was inspired by Rosa Parks and dedicated his life to racial justice and equality. Lewis frequently spoke of the importance of getting in "good trouble, necessary trouble." As we strive work towards or mission of empowering youth and building community we firmly believe that "if you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, do something. We cannot afford to be quiet.” (Boat type: 2x/-)
Sangha is a Sanskrit word. According to author Jay Shetty, "as the Sanskrit word for community, sangha suggests a refuge where people serve and inspire each other." We chose sangha because we are committed to serving and uplifting each other in our pursuits on and off the water. (Boat type: 1x)
Shoshin is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning "beginner's mind." It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would. We believe that by practicing shoshin, we will be better rowers, coaches, volunteers and citizens.
Explanation of boat types:
8+ has 8 rowers plus 1 coxswain
4+ has 4 rowers plus 1 coxswain
2x/- has 2 rowers, 0 coxswains. Boat can be configured so that rowers have one oar each (sweep rowing) or two oars each (sculling).
1x has 1 rower with two oars (sculling).