SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento State rowing team has worked a decade to build a reputation of keeping calm waters by forgoing drinking during the season.
It’s a demanding scheduled that has rowers up early in the morning to work hard on the water. But staying dry is a priority.
For the past decade, the team has made a pledge to themselves to stay sober for the spring season, with no alcohol whatsoever.
“It’s kind of our way to cleanse our bodies and kind of refocus into what we’re doing,” said team captain Kim Gross.
Their pledge hangs in the Sacramento State Aquatic Center at Lake Natoma, and the women wear bracelets reminding them of their promise.
“Sobriety’s given rowing and I believe student athletes in general more respect and less of that stigma of a party, leeway kind of group,” said senior Rosemary Kloh.
Coach Mike Connors says his team came up with the idea 10 years ago on their own, and it’s now become part of the Hornet rowing culture.
“We haven’t had to worry about things happening in spring,” he said.
The team tells recruits about the pledge when they come to visit, so they know what they’re getting into.
“If that’s not their thing, if they don’t think that they can commit to that, they shouldn’t come here,” Connors said.
Many of the women are of drinking age, but they say when they go out, it’s not hard to say no to alcohol, since they’re all in the same boat.
“I think it’s a good message, not just for athletes, but just for college students, for young people in general,” Gross said. “If there’s something that you really want to do in life then you know, you should be able to make the sacrifices to get there.”
Some individual athletes on other Sacramento State teams pledge sobriety during their season, but the women’s rowing team is the only one that does it together.