2015 Parmigiani Spirit Award narrowed to final six
For immediate release
Lausanne, 12 August 2015
World Rowing and Parmigiani Fleurier are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2015 Parmigiani Spirit Award (in alphabetical order):
- Lawrence Brittain (South Africa)
- Tsz Wai Chan (Hong Kong)
- Maciej Sciesiek (Poland)
- Tijana Stefanovic (Serbia)
- Kirsten Van Fossen (Great Britain/United States)
- Tristan Wentworth (South Africa)
Now in its third year the Parmigiani Spirit Award has seen a steady growth in interest. "We have again received numerous applications from around the world," says FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland. "The quality of the applications remains truly impressive and I know it will be difficult to pick the award winner from these six worthy finalists"
The next stage is to decide the winner, and this is for a select panel of judges which includes Rolland as well as Mahe Drysdale who is an Olympic Champion single sculler from New Zealand, Lenka Wech a German Olympian and World Champion and Jean-Marc Jacot, Parmigiani Fleurier’s CEO.
Each of the six finalists has unique and individual attributes, but, all have demonstrated the core values of the sport of rowing and through these values have been able to inspire exceptional success in their own as well as other people's lives.
Lawrence Brittain is from South Africa and currently studying marketing management at the University of Pretoria. He has regularly been the men's captain of TuksRowing where he has contributed to their success. Brittain has been part of South Africa's national team since he was a junior; and he is now an under-23 World Champion. He successfully came back to rowing after a battle with cancer during which period he continued to help his rowing club and inspired many of his fellow athletes through his positive attitude.
Tsz Wai Chan has represented Hong Kong in rowing both at the World Rowing Junior Championships and the Asian Games. During Chan's time studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, she always found time to coach and now Chan has chosen to work with disabled children to teach them to row.
Maciej Sciesiek is working towards a PhD in physics at the University of Warsaw in Poland. He is already published in his field and has presented his work at various conferences. Sciesiek joined the fledgling Warsaw University Boat Club and took it from six members to more than 30. This included creating the club's first women's eight. Sciesiek's coach says, "He is a person who is not afraid to fail and who is willing to make sacrifices for others. (He) has opened my eyes and has already triggered a change in university rowing in Warsaw."
Tijana Stefanovic is at the University of Belgrade in Serbia studying information technology and systems. She is involved in the Belgrade University Rowing Club not only as a rower but also has acted to help build the young club. Stefanovic has also organised several events for her faculty and is seen as a positive influence academically as well as in her rowing.
Kirsten Van Fossen is from the United States and is currently working towards a PhD in engineering at the University of Cambridge in Great Britain. Before Cambridge, Van Fossen was at Harvard where she received a fellowship to the University of Sao Paulo. Van Fossen’s volunteer work is driven by her passion for the promotion of sustainable solutions to address global systemic problems. Van Fossen began rowing nine years ago and raced as part of the United States junior team. She currently rows at the Cambridge University Women's Boat Club on the lightweight team.
Tristian Wentworth goes to Rhodes University in South Africa. He has completed a degree in information systems and is currently studying education because he hopes to give back to the rowing club and the community as a whole. Wentworth has been heavily involved in coaching novices as well as administrative positions in the Rhodes University Rowing Club. A member already for five years, Wentworth has helped the club grow in numbers. Wentworth recently represented South Africa at the 2015 Universiade.
The winner of the 2015 Parmigiani Spirit Award will receive a hand-crafted Parmigiani Fleurier watch and the rowing club of the winner will be presented with a custom-made new Filippi racing eight boat.