Would you join a rowing club where 30% of members go on to represent their country?
Most competitive rowers would join like a shot if they had aspirations of an international vest. Those guys must be “doing something right”.
Duncan Holland reports a hugely successful club in New Zealand – Waihopai Rowing Club in Invercargill which is a small town where this is the case. Recent Olympians and World Champs athletes include Storm Uru – bronze medal at London Olympics. Louise Ayling, Jade Uru, Sarah Hamilton, Genevieve Behrent, Kristen Froude and Lisa Owen – under-23 medallist and New Zealand World University’s representative.
So what do they do differently?
Winter training. Compared to other clubs, they get athletes doing six sessions per week through the 5 winter months. These comprise 3 gym sessions, 2 ergs and 1 row at the weekend in daylight.
In the gym – the young athletes learn to lift in year one and in year 2 onwards they lift weights.
The club gets them exposure to good people who come down to teach and share learning. Talks on nutrition, watching good rowing, meeting famous “hero” club members. Crucially the parents are always included in the tutorials.
Sounds simple? Could you do this at your club?