The Ottawa Rowing Club is home to so many amazing, motivated, selfless volunteers! We feel really lucky to know and have them in our community – we want you to know them too.

Here’s another edition of Project #ORCvolunteerlove, where we ask volunteers a series of questions. We’ll post new volunteer Q&As each week. Their answers may surprise you, make you giggle, or motivate you to live the best day ever, or to pay forward what you’ve received too.

Meet Glenn Hay, one of our many volunteers who make the ORC go and go fast and furiously each year.

Glenn is Lead Coach of our junior men’s competitive program and a coach of the Glebe Collegiate rowing team. Glenn is a graduate of Glebe CI and that’s where she discovered rowing as a student in 2006. Glenn transitioned to a coach in 2012 and has been volunteering countless hours at the ORC since. Glenn isn’t just a young, talented coach, she’s an amazing person with a calm, kind demeanour – thoughtful in her approach and inspiring in her dedication to her crews, fellow coaches and to continued learning – a shining example of giving back to a sport and to the veteran volunteer coaches who influenced her own rowing and coaching career.

THANK YOU, GLENN!  Sending you so much #ORCvolunteerlove!

Q: What is your education in and what’s your day job?

A: I have a Bsc in Biology and I work two jobs – the first at QCH where I’m the Coordinator of Volunteers and the second at Tierney Stauffer LLP on the admin side.

Q: How long have you been a member and volunteering at the ORC?

A: Since 2006. I started rowing for Glebe CI and took up coaching in 2012.

Q: How did you first discover rowing?

A: Well this is actually a fun story – the joke is that I was recruited for rowing at a bar when I was 14. Or at least that’s the abbreviated version. The longer story is that on my way home from dance class one night my dad and I dropped in on his friend’s retirement party. It was there that I met my dad’s other friend and colleague of many years, Rob Boraks, who also happened to be (and still is) a Glebe rowing coach. He came right over to my dad and I to introduce himself and to say “you should row”. Needless to say, once I got to high school, I took his advice.

Q: What do you wish other people knew about rowing and the ORC?

A: Rowing is a lifelong sport – there’s a spot for everyone. And there’s nothing like being out on the water on a brisk spring morning and watching the sun rise.

Q: What might someone be surprised to know about you?

A: In university, I was part of uOttawa’s Iron Chef team.

Q: You volunteer a lot of time at the ORC.  What motivates you to stay involved and to continue volunteering?

A: The people – specifically the ORC’s coaches. Rob Boraks, Brett Miller, Cliff Brimmell, Kate Gorsline – to name a few – were my coaches and mentors as an athlete and it’s because of them that I started coaching. It’s my hope that I’m able to give others the opportunities that they gave to me through rowing.

Now they continue to inspire and coach me as one of the newer coaches at the club. I’m sure I will never stop learning from them.

Q: Give one of the most important lessons you’ve learned during your time in rowing, either as an athlete or coach, and how that lesson has impacted your life in other areas.

A: It’s okay to lose. It’s like the Aerosmith lyrics “you’ve got to lose to know how to win”. Through rowing, you discover your limits are greater than you once thought.

Q: What is one of your favourite memories while being at the ORC?

A: When my dad started rowing. He decided that if he was driving me down every morning for practice that he should get out there on the water too. So my uncle found him a free open water single that had been broken into three pieces (a tree had fallen on it) for him to row in. My dad put it back together in his workshop, called it “the Dawn of the Dead” and got out there on the water to start rowing.

Q: What’s a favourite book, podcast, or documentary that you recommend?

A: For rowing – The Boys in the Boat. It’s a great read. I love a good underdog story.

Q: Who would be on your dream dinner party invite list and why?

A: Elon Musk. He’s a visionary – it would be fun to debate with him about the world’s untapped opportunities.

Q: What is a favourite quote that guides you day to day?

A: ”The sun is shining, the grass is green” – basically, don’t let the little things get you down, keep our eye on the big picture and keep it simple.

Q: If you could hop on a plane to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

A: Newfoundland. I’ve never been to the east coast and I definitely want to see an iceberg and the Northern Lights.

Q: List 3 things on your bucket list

A: 1. My next degree

2. Discuss the politics of sport with Mike Spracklen

3. Success on my own terms