Bridget Kelly, Senior (4-Year Oar)
B.S. Computer Science and Applied Mathematics (2021)
What’s your name?
Where are you from?
What’s your major?
Computer Science and Applied Mathematics
How did you get into rowing at UCD?
One day during my freshman I was wearing a rowing shirt at the ARC and was approached by a member of the team to be a coxswain. It wasn’t something I had considered previously since I was a rower in high school but I’m certainly glad I gave the men’s team a try!
Why do you row?
Rowing has been a part of my life for almost a decade now, so I can barely imagine life without it. Even though it is hard work, the sunrises, adrenaline during a close race, and teammates that are like family make it all worth it.
Port or Starboard?
What do you spend your time doing when not rowing?
Outside of rowing I’m either developing personal projects for my resume, playing video games, or studying with friends in the MU (when not in a pandemic.)
How do you define success?
Success can have lots of different meanings. I don’t believe that success has to just mean winning, but rather the accomplishment of a goal. This can apply personally, to the boat, or the team as a whole. Some examples include achieving a certain 2k time goal by the end of spring or beating OCC at ACRA. In the pandemic, this might just look like attending Zoom practices consistently.
What is one distinct memory you have from the team during the last year?
Right before the pandemic began, we had the new California Challenge Cup (formerly UC Challenge Cup). The V8 had four 1ks back-to-back and finals soon thereafter with only one short opportunity to dock and refuel. The only other time I’ve spent that long on the water was Rio Vista! It was a challenge for us as a boat to stay energized and motivated, but the chaotic environment of it all made it fun and a learning experience in the end.
As the UCD Crew President what leadership lessons have you learned throughout the last year?
Last year I was on the executive council as travel coordinator, so going into this year as president, I thought I was prepared. However, since we’ve been operating in a pandemic, my responsibilities have been a little different than expected. I’ve learned that communication is more important than ever, especially when we have to look to Sport Clubs for any protocols and updates on online and in-person practices. Additionally, as I am also the source of information for the team, communication is important in making sure everyone is getting tested for Covid regularly, feels safe at our in-person practices, and is up-to-date on how practices will look like in the future.
Can you share a bit about what crew at UCD looks like over the past year?
In the fall we were restricted to online practices only, but in the past quarter, we have been allowed to expand into small sculling groups in-person. Online practices are pretty similarly run to normal land practice, and it’s pretty cool to be able to see everyone erging at the same time on the Zoom call. The only setback of this is that the rowers cannot hear anyone who speaks on Zoom while they are erging, so occasionally we have rowers do the wrong warmup or full workout without knowing! Despite the unusual circumstances this past year, the team has done a phenomenal job holding themselves accountable for their workouts, and Des has done great work as well in keeping the environment as similar as possible to in-person practice.
What hopes do you have for the team post-pandemic?
First and foremost, I sincerely hope that starting next fall, the team will be able to return to full practice. This year’s novice class has been understandably on the smaller side, so I hope that there will be a large novice class next fall to make up for it!
What is your greatest rowing achievement?
My greatest achievement on this team was getting the opportunity to travel to Boston and participate in HOCR which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.
What is your greatest achievement outside of rowing?
I was very fortunate to receive a job offer this past fall that begins post-graduation, especially given the current economic climate due to the pandemic. I attribute this to lots of hard work at UC Davis and my internships over the past few years.
What do you expect to be doing in 10 years? Has this changed over the past year?
In 10 years, I will hopefully be working as a senior software engineer in financial technology. This hasn’t changed over the past year since I was lucky enough to complete a software engineering internship this summer. I would also love to own a single at that point which has been a dream since I raced singles in high school.