Robert has always been a fierce competitor—his records speak to that. But he also recognizes the powerful role that both strong teamwork and coaching play in building champions. As a swimmer, he won Ridley’s first OFSSA medal. As a rower, he won the Stotesbury Cup and two CSSRA championships.
Robert was offered a full athletic scholarship to Temple University in Philadelphia, where he found himself in a boat with a number of rowers he had beat out in the Stotesbury Cup race. “They hated me at first,” he recalls. “But it taught me the importance of competition. Some of those guys who hated me my first few days at Temple are now some of my best friends.” His Temple crew pulled together to win several gold medals and championships, including the memorable Augusta Invitational in Georgia, where they beat Oxford University in the final.
Looking back to his Ridley days, Robert's list of positive influences is extensive, starting with Rick Coy, his Lower School football coach. He also notes Paul Lewis, Rick Rasmussen, Neil Campbell—who pushed him beyond what he knew he could do, and assistant football coach Dennis Hull—who always reminded players in the huddle to just go out and have fun. “That’s something,” he cautions, “that I think athletes forget sometimes.”
“None of us could do this alone; I know that my teammates have carried me a lot of times.”