Rotorua Rowing Club boosts awareness of rowing joys with community

Sunrise training with the Rotorua Rowing Cub. Photo / Supplied

The Rotorua Rowing Club is working hard to become better-known within the community, and is holding a Learn To Row series for high school students.

The guest speaker at the club’s prizegiving, held at the end of April, was Rotorua’s Lisa Adams – New Zealand Paralympic F37 shot putter and F38 discus thrower.

Lisa spoke about the hard work and effort that goes into achieving at a high level, and knowing your “why”. Why are you doing this? Because it is not always easy to keep going in the face of adversity.

The club was absolutely rapt to have Lisa present and has invited her back to row with them in June, in between her training for sports on the worldwide stage.

To help introduce the sport to a new generation of rowers and to help them find their ‘why’, the club is holding a Learn To Row series for high school students from Years 9 to 12.

The rowing program will be held over two consecutive weekends – June 11/12 and June 18/19 – and is designed as an introduction to rowing for junior rowers.

Students of all heights and sizes are welcome as crews are always in need of smaller coxswains to steer them and the boats across the finish line.

Although free of charge, pre-registration for this is encouraged to ensure there are enough existing rowers and coaches in support. For more information, you can contact the club through its website or Facebook page.

The club says Covid-19 has had ongoing financial implications and some serious fundraising has been needed to help cover the costs and stay afloat.

As part of a fundraising effort and to boost awareness of who they are, the Rotorua Rowing Club recently held its annual corporate regatta in perfect winter conditions.

Six crews from Holland Beckett Law, Kilwell, Timberlands, Manu Life, Tompkins Wake and Hospital Pirates trained for the event under the watchful eye of club coaches before racing for the Corporate Rowing Trophy.

The trophy was handcrafted and donated by Kilwell Fibretube.

Training took place over six weeks and included on-water sessions as well as weekly erg sessions to practice rowing technique and build fitness.

Each crew were supplied their dedicated coxswain, coach, equipment and support from the club over the month-and-a-half.

Despite the sometimes chilly mornings, Chantelle Nunez, a novice from Holland Beckett, says, “Getting out on Lake Rotorua for an early morning row, watching the sun come up and mist waft over the lake is incredible.

“You come back in energized and invigorated for the day.”

The corporate regatta unveiled a new format this year, with smaller crews which were easier to fill due to Covid impacts.

All competitors received a race pack and went into a spot prize draw, with items donated by Boasters Coffee (and Tea) Shop, Volcanic Hills Winery and Polynesian Spa, with a variety of discount vouchers for other local attractions.

In a closely contested and exciting final, Timberlands pipped Holland Beckett and Tompkins Wake to take the trophy for 2022. The event concluded with a barbecue and placegetters prizegiving, for the ultimate winner’s trophy.

Club president Barbara Neale would like to see the regatta continue its revitalisation and grow into a significant feature in the Rotorua sporting calendar.

“With the feedback we have from the crews, I’m sure more businesses will take part next year.

“Rowing is a fantastic team sport. It’s suitable for everyone regardless of their fitness, age or experience.

“I learned to row at the age of 45 and Keith Fraser is still rowing with us at the age of 90, he’s an absolute legend.”

She says it’s a great way to build friendships, with a bit of grunt and sweat thrown in the mix.

“We really appreciate all the support we have had from the business community.

“We have bigger and better plans for next year and look forward to getting many more boats out on the water, increasing the friendly competition and introducing even more people to the art and joys of rowing.” , Supplied content


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