Rowing Forward: A Woman on the Men’s Crew Team

Elizabeth Kugler ’20 is a female coxswain on the men’s crew team. We sat down to talk with her on her experience.

Q: What does it mean to you to be a woman on the men’s crew team?
A: To be a woman on the men’s crew team means that anyone can do anything if they care enough. If you want to make a commitment and strive for accomplishment then nothing, not even gender, should stop you.
Q: Do you think there’s a real difference in the way woman and men perform athletics?
A: Truthfully I do not think there is a difference in the way men and women perform athletics, but the difference is the dynamics of a team. When it comes down to it, anyone can run a mile or learn to row a boat or shoot a basketball. I think a sport is not defined by gender but rather how each individual team uniquely plays that sport.  
Q:  What has been the hardest part of assimilating to an all-male team?
A: The hardest part of assimilating to an all-male team is fitting in. Not to sound like its middle school, but no matter how hard you try, genetic predisposition can define where you stand. All the guys have been so nice to me and I knew most of them before joining so I definitely had made good friends. But, there will always be an underlying feeling of being different or that you won’t get the jokes they tell. Its a sense of being unable to relate and a fear of not being taken seriously. But, thankfully the team has been very accepting of having a female coxswain. 
Q: Any advice for women who want to do something that’s traditionally male-dominated? 
A: My advice for women who want to do something that traditionally male-dominated is that you can do anything you set your mind to (I know, cheesy).  I have heard stories about girls wanting to join their high school football teams and I have known girls on male hockey teams and I think its great. Also being a woman in business, I know the fear of not being taken seriously. But in reality, gender is just something that impacts how we look, but not how we perform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *