KAMLOOPS - William Dean knows a lot about goal setting, the importance of community and high performance.
The guest speaker at next month’s Thompson Rivers University WolfPack scholarship breakfast has excelled at all three.
Excelling in a sport he took up as a way to earn a sports scholarship 10 years ago, Dean is a perfect example of how hard work and dedication pays off in athletics and in life. He is looking forward to sharing his story at the breakfast, which is set for the Grand Hall at the Campus Activity Centre on Thursday, Sept. 24.
“Through some research I figured out rowing was the best way to get a scholarship,” the Kelowna native stated. “ I trained on the rowing machine, entered the national indoor rowing championships and got a scholarship to UC Berkley where I learned how to row.”
And row the 6’5” Dean did: he participated in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England where he and his men’s four team finished ninth.
He followed that up with a double gold medal performance at this year’s Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario. Dean is now gearing up for the upcoming World Championships in Aiguebelette, France.
“I can’t overstate the privilege it was to race in Canada at this level,” he said about the Pan Am experience. “It meant so much to me to have so many people supporting us; it felt like we had a huge team behind our back. We accomplished what we set out to do and I hope it will set us up well for the World Championships this month.”
He is looking forward to addressing the athletes and potential donors to the TRU program. “I love talking to athletes because we share experiences across sports. We all speak variations of the same language. Learning how to balance high level academics and athletics can be very challenging. For me, it encouraged great time management skills and I appreciated my time a lot more.”
The 28-year-old Dean now lives in Victoria, B.C., and is currently part of the RBC Olympians program which encourages him to engage with the community and speak at public events.
He says being part of a rowing crew is very similar to being on a ‘team’ in the work place.
“I think there are a lot of parallels. In rowing, we are competing with each other all year, and at the same time we are working together. You want to be the best but you also want everyone around you to be great. National team rowing sees us relying on a huge range of people doing everything well together: from therapists to psychologists. Everyone plays a role in the team’s success or failure. The same is true in the workplace.”
Tickets are now on sale for the breakfast: The Scholarship breakfast is set for September 24th in the Grand Hall of the Campus Activity Centre. Doors open at 6:45 am with the event concluding not later than 8:30 am.
Corporations and interested parties are invited to purchase a 10 person table for the event. The cost for a table is $1,500, all donations will be supported additionally by a matching grant of up to $ 75,000. All proceeds go to support WolfPack student athletes. Those who buy tables will also be invited to a ‘meet and greet’ reception on the Wednesday evening, Sept. 23, with the guest speaker, Pan American gold medal winning rower Will Dean.
Individual tickets are being sold for $100. Each person will receive a keeper gift and four single game passes along with a tax receipt for $75. The amount of the ticket will be matched by TRU to become a donation of $200.
For more information and to purchase tickets, you can go to the WolfPack website: www.gowolfpack.tru.ca and click the link “2015 WolfPack Scholarship Breakfast.”
There is an option for you to donate to the WolfPack Scholarship Breakfast without attending the breakfast. Your support is greatly appreciated by the WolfPack student athletes and the TRU athletic program.