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Blessing of the Boats - remarks from Ted Haley & Paul Berry

Apr 22, 2023

Thank you to all who attended the Blessing of the Boats:

  1. Resilience  – Midweight 4+ (in honor of the strength and courage the ’20, ’21 and ’22 teams demonstrated during the pandemic)

  2. Edward Haley – Midweight 8+ (in honor of the boys’ varsity coach and club founder)

  3. Paul Berry – Lightweight 8+ (in honor of the team’s strength and conditioning coach)

Here are remarks given by Ted Haley & Paul Berry at the ceremony:


hank you for showing up today to watch these races and celebrate this program. Thank you to McLean, Jackson Reed, Whitman and Alexandria City High for racing this morning.

I’d like to start by thanking Rev. Chadwick and Rev Cavaleri for blessing these boats. I have known these women for a while and I am happy to say that I consider them friends. They are fabulous ambassadors of the schools and the Episcopal Church..  I also want to thank the STA Associate Head of School, Suzanne Woods, Lower School Head Fred Chandler and Lower School AD Karim Najdi for being here today. They both provide wise guidance and support for what we do here. A great deal of thanks should go to our parent board CCCRC, lead by Sherman Knight for coming up with the funds and support for equipment like this, setting up tents, running pasta parties and doing all the dirty work. These boats don’t float, and these kids don’t eat without their tireless efforts. I am also pleased to be here with my fellow coaches. Tom and Grace usually make my life easy. They are true professionals and I love working with them. Erin, Judith and Erik are also doing excellent work with the NCS athletes and I have enjoyed watching their progress. I am also pleased to be here with Coach Paul Berry (CPB). Paul is a steady hand at NCS, loved by the girls and coaches. Naming a boat after him is a fitting honor. Lastly, I want to recognize the athletes who make this a reality showing up on warm days in Tampa as well as less ideal days on The Potomac. We do our best to make this sport fun, but we know that it is not a sport for glory seekers. Daily hard work in challenging circumstances is the life of a rower. 

I’d like to speak about the naming of the Edward Haley. This time around the CCCRC board asked if I was OK with a boat being named after me. Years ago (around 1998) we bought a boat and all of a sudden it had the name Ted Haley on it. I was honored that time and I am honored this time. Having some input, my idea was to name it Edward to honor me and my father as well. We are both Edwards. He goes by Ed (Eddie as a kid) and I go by Ted (Teddy until I entered college. My mother will still call me that). I have been coaching since the team started in 1994, so I guess I am important to this program. We have had our highs and lows, but I have dedicated myself to trying to provide the best experience for the young men and women of the STA and NCS crews. I feel I have made a lasting impact and set a strong foundation going back to that first spring in 1994. My father set the foundation for who I am, so he is also pretty important to this program. He was my first ice hockey coach, he played catch with me, kicked the soccer ball around, came to all my games, collected money for ice time, very similar to our parent board. He is also dedicated to lifelong fitness, and at 79 he swims everyday, cuts the grass, clears the snow (not a small job in Western New York). He also worked at the same school for 30+ years and was dedicated to education. 

Thank you all for this honor. I share it with all of you.


Dear Friends,

Thank you for this tremendous honor. I think of Edward Magoba during moments like these. He was a true servant leader and gift to our community. He is my model for love, devotion, and self-sacrifice. I hope to carry on his legacy. Thank you to the crew Board of Directors, Cameron, Jeff, and others that help behind the scenes. Thank you to Eleanor Scully for her wonderful leadership at NCS and all the tireless devotion she displays. I also want to thank all our crew teams of the past that have carried on the legacy of hard work and dedication. Most importantly, thank you to Heather Dent for bringing me to NCS and taking a chance on a young 23-year strength coach out of college and welcoming me back again after grad school. Of course, Ryann and our children would not be here without that. I owe so much to this great community and this awesome crew program.

My favorite sports movie is Chariots of Fire. The story of 1924 Olympic team. One runner, Eric

Liddell responded to a question on why he ran and stated he ran because he had a gift and when he ran he felt the presence of God and His glory. Katherine Holmes, a NCS alumnae and fencer, also talked with me about this during an interview discussion. All we need to do is have faith during our toughest moments and it will work out in the end.

This season, my hope is that you will row with faith. The prize is not winning but rowing knowing that everything will be ok. You are enough and you have each other and our community. We will always have your back. Although the journey is arduous, treacherous, and difficult may you row to feel the grace God upon your life. May you discover the blessing of the breath in your lungs, the use of your muscles and joints to produce power. That is the real blessing.

So, this season, row not just to win the race, but to win the great prize that is set before us to

have faith in something greater than ourselves. The gift of community, friends, coaches, teammates, and knowing that it is all going to workout no matter what struggle you’re going through. God in within you.

Thank you and be blessed!

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