SRA Stories: Lia Roberds
Roberds joined the women's team as a rower, and found herself struggling to keep up. She was consistently seated in the 4V or 5V boats, and found that rowing wasn’t her strongest area in crew. Standing at 5’1”, her coach encouraged her to try coxing in addition to rowing. After a couple years, she eventually moved onto the men’s team as a full time coxswain when the women’s team had a surplus of coxswains. After working for so long to start having success, Roberds was rewarded during her experience at the Head of the Charles Regatta in 2012.
Roberds graduated from the University of Washington in 2017 with a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, and now works for Convoy, which is a tech company in the trucking industry. However, she still makes time outside of work for coaching and coxing at Sammamish. “I do like hopping between coaching and coxing because I can add to the team in different ways,” she said. “I coached here in the summers in college and helped with almost every time slot and every age group.” Roberds enjoys passing on her love for the sport, and seeing her rowers experience new things and gain more skills. She added, “What I enjoy is having people overcome personal challenges, whether it’s a physical or mental challenge, and feel like they get one step stronger each time they come down to the boathouse.”
In all of her years rowing and beyond, Roberds has gained incredible experience. She advises new rowers to, “be comfortable with being a little uncomfortable and pushing yourself a little bit every day. Challenge yourself to be faster than you are, to step up into a leadership role, or to try something new. Learning something new is hard on it’s own. Create small goals one at a time and push yourself to accomplish them.”