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Gold-medal rower speaks on goal-setting

August 4, 2015 11:33 A.M.
Gold-medal rower Will Dean.

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 said. “ 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.  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 and is part of the RBC Olympians program, which encourages him to engage with the community and speak at public events.

He said 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. Doors open at 6:45 a.m. in the Grand Hall on Sept. 24 with the event concluding not later than 8:30 am.

Tickets are $100, or $1,500 for a corporate table of 10. All proceeds go to support WolfPack student athletes. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to the WolfPack website: and click the link “2015 WolfPack Scholarship Breakfast.”


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