Oct. 1, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Lady Vols took a break from their boats Saturday afternoon to help out the community with Habitat for Humanity.
Due to their large team, about twenty athletes came for the first two-hour shift, followed by the rest of their team coming to relieve them in the midst of the afternoon sun.
The director of Habitat for Humanity thanked the Rowing team for coming out to help build a house, saying that he always looks forward to when they come because their strength and unifying teamwork is impeccable.
Following their two and a half hour morning practice, the Lady Vols were all smiles when they arrived at the house about ten minutes away from campus.
A first-time house-builder, freshman Harper Lucas said she nailed boards down and helped raise the trusses to support the roof.
"I liked Habitat for Humanity because we were like a community where a bunch of people who didn't know each other came together as one to help build a house for a family we didn't know," Lucas said.
"We came together as a unit just like we do on the water in rowing," Lucas said. "I liked how everyone supported each other and assisted in whatever was needed. It was really cool meeting the family that is going to live there. I really enjoyed serving and helping others."
The rowers and coxswains were helping in every aspect of building the house, from carrying boards into the house, cutting wood to the right angle, hammering nails into boards - some athletes were balancing in mid-air on boards securing the roof down.
Her second time helping with Habitat for Humanity, junior Courtney Fritts said she looks forward to this opportunity all year long.
"Helping people in whatever way we can is such a blessing," Fritts said. "We get to take time out of our busy schedules to see people in the community and really make a difference.
"The people there who hadn't worked with rowing before said they had heard of our team and how hard we work on and off the water," Fritts said. "It means a lot to have a reputation in the Knoxville community. It was great working with my teammates in something non-athletic and it brought us even closer as a team."
The Lady Vols are quickly approaching their season opener in less than two weeks at the Chattanooga Head Race. They continue to prepare for their fall season on and off the water, hoping to start off their season and the year off strong.