It was a magic finish for the College rowers who scooped the prestigious Maadi Cup at the annual New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Rowing regatta this year.
confidence the boys would step up because our boys always deliver.’’
The rowers also claimed the Springbok Shield with a strong finish in the flagship race of the first finals day, the boys coxed fours. The last time this happened was in 1998, before most of the boys in the team were born. Coach Henry Smith says it was College’s most successful regatta for 10 years, with the boys winning two golds, two silvers and a bronze. “All up, 49 boys went to the regatta and 33 won medals,’’ he says. “It was also the first time in College rowing history that we won medals in every age group for the coxed eights - under 15, 16, 17 and 18. It was a phenomenal achievement. “We are really proud of what the boys have achieved,’’ he says. “They have worked extremely hard and we have had a depth of talent pushing up from underneath. We had every
In March the rowers attended a Maadi training camp held in Twizel because of the limited water space available in Christchurch post-earthquake. It’s a rigorous programme where the crews are on the water from 8am to 1pm, then do school work from 1pm to 7pm. “It’s a very tightly structured camp,’’ says Henry. “Student athletes must maintain their academic standards first and, in fact, most come back and are at the same level or better than their peers. Teachers set work which the boys can pull up online and we have six academic staff coaches with us. “We tell the boys, our aim is not just to win medals, but to improve their life skills and when they leave the training programme, they are in fact better people than when they started.
Overall, College was ranked seventh in the regatta, but in the sweep oar rowing, College was ranked the third best school in the country and the top team in the South Island. Henry Smith says he and co-coach Malcolm McIntyre start planning for the Maadi Cup three years out. “We start by looking at the hand we are dealt in the under-16s and spend the next three years building a crew, although we don’t actually settle on the final crew until a week before the regatta. We ran the same peaking programme process, then looked at building camaraderie to make the rowing club more inclusive. The under-18s really embraced this and our sense of togetherness meant all 90 boys in the rowing club felt they had won the cup.”
Christ’s College Canterbury
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