Get Ready to Rumball ... With One Of Canada’s Top Rowers
So you think you can beat an Olympian?
|THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO|
|Jane Rumball, left, pairs up with Darcy Marquardt in this 2007 photo.|
Well, you can get your chance when world champion rower Jane Rumball and the University of Toronto rowing team hosts an Erg-a-thon fundraiser in support of Right To Play on Tuesday, March 31, in the front lobby of the U of T Athletic Centre (55 Harbord St, downtown Toronto).
Rumball, part of of a Canadian women’s eight that just missed the podium at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a former world champion in pairs, is travelling to Kampala, Uganda, in April to see firsthand the work done by Right To Play, an athlete driven charity that brings sport and play programs to kids in the most disadvantage parts of the world.
Like so many of Canada’s Olympians, Rumball is a special breed of athlete, someone who pushes herself to the physical limit in her sport but is driven by more than the need to excel. She’s incredibly passionate about Right To Play and is also currently a medical student at U of T while continuing to train with the national team.
In other words, a great role model, which is why I plan to bring my daughter and some of her friends to this neat event. I mean who would I rather my kid look up to: Miley Cyrus or someone like Jane Rumball. Hmmmmm.
As part of the fundraiser, for a mere $20, you can get to challenge Rumball or her friend Michelle Guerette, an American rower who won silver in the women’s single sculls at the Beijing Olympics, in a 100-metre showdown.
For those wondering: What’s an Erg-a-thon? Well, an erg is a rowing machine, the equivalent to a stationary bike for rowers. You don’t need any experience on one to give it a try.
The Canadian women's soccer team is also currently doing a Right To Play fundraiser.
The Erg-a-thon runs from 7 a.m. – yeah, rowers like to get up early – until 9 p.m. so you’ve basically got no excuse not to show up if you’re in the neighbourhood.
Here’s a little Q & A with Jane …
Why are you looking so forward to your trip with Right To Play?
Jane: I have really enjoyed being involved with Right to Play because it espouses many of the values that I hold dear, with the added benefit of being an organization that is athlete-driven. Sport has opened so many doors for me, but it is also responsible for teaching me values like perseverance, resilience, teamwork and focus. I've had many life lessons from my involvement in sport and play, and it is a privilege to pass those on to others....and kids in particular should be able to have that same kind of opportunity! I'm looking forward to the trip because it is the first time since I started getting involved with RTP (back in 2007) that I can actually go on a field visit. I imagine it will give me a brand new perspective that I can bring to my speaking engagements that I do to raise funds for RTP.
How is school going? How far are you along in your medical studies?
Jane: School is amazing... even more rewarding than I had hoped, and I had pretty high expectations! My classmates are the most interesting and brightest people I have met, and when you combine that with a high level of compassion, it is truly inspiring. The environment makes me want to be a better person each and every day I am there. I am only in my first year, so there's a long journey still ahead, but I look forward to every step of it!
Will you be taking it easy on the people who challenge you at the Erg-a-thon or will it be full throttle?
Jane: For those that challenge, I have to be honest and say that my competitive nature will most likely come out sooner or later! It's fun for me but I also try to do my best when I'm on that machine, and I will definitely not be taking it easy on people who have rowed in the past or if there are guys out there who want a challenge. There are only so many sprints you can do before you get fatigued, so I'll have to make sure to keep the bigger guys near the front of line so I use my energy effectively!
Have you at least gotten a bit out of shape at school?
Jane: It has definitely been tough staying in racing shape during full-time medical school. Once I decided I wanted to race this year, the first few hard workouts made me feel like I was a novice again! Fortunately it comes back pretty quickly, and I have years of training under my belt, so it makes it easier to tell my body it has to get ready to race again. The best thing I did all year for my rowing was to join the U of T nordic ski team. It was so much fun, and I am so terrible at it, that it made me motivated to learn. I absolutely love ski racing, even though I had at least two faceplants per race.