On April 8 and April 22, the women’s varsity crew team took a trip to Murray-Weigel to visit the Jesuit priests there. During this visit, the team had question and answer sessions with the Jesuits about Fordham rowing and Jesuit values. Pictures and footage of the team’s races and practices were also shown to the Jesuits, who were more than happy to learn about rowing and tell their own stories in return.
The reason why the team visited Murray-Weigel was to create a stronger bond between the student athletes and Jesuits living on the same campus. Senior captain Nicole Arrato believes that “The student-athletes were unaware of the wonderful individuals living in Murray-Weigel, and of the rich stories and knowledge possessed by these men.” The team enjoyed many conversations with the Jesuits, and they were able to both teach them about rowing and learn from their wisdom. The Jesuits were very curious about the sport of rowing, and asked questions regarding the structure of a regatta, the details of a rowing stroke and the rules of rowing. In return, the Jesuits told their own stories related to rowing and sports in general.
The Jesuits were delighted to hear from these wonderful young women about the rowing team’s experiences and their participation in the Fordham community. Not only did the team thoroughly engage in graceful, light-hearted conversation with these men, but they also showed them pictures and videos of their races. The Jesuits, then, were able to both hear about and see the team’s hard work, dedication and success.
As the visit drew to an end, both the varsity team and the Jesuits thanked each other for listening and extending advice. The bond between the student athletes and the Jesuit community definitely grew stronger, and Father Dugan even asked to attend their next regatta.
Arrato had some touching final words on the team’s visit to Murray-Weigel:“The Jesuits expressed their gratitude for our visits, and we left Murray-Weigel with smiles on our faces. Many of us plan on returning to Murray-Weigel on an individual basis, to spend more time with the individuals there.”