Boat donation encourages South African school rowing
Rowing has been an integral part of Germinston High School’s history in South Africa. It is known as one of the first schools to offer rowing. Located next to Victoria Lake, just outside Johannesburg, it is an ideal spot to learn to row.
Last year’s South African School Championships was the first time that Germinston High School had ever won gold. Witnessed by a Hudson boats representative, who heard about Germinston’s tough journey to their first gold, Hudson pledged to donate a boat to the school.
“Rowing is growing as a sport in the school,” says Germinston’s head rowing coach Lebohang Mashigo. “We are now currently sitting on 32 rowers in total. Every year we manage to recruit a large number of grade eights and nines who are interested in rowing. However, we do struggle to keep them because of the lack of equipment, which results in everyone not being able to get on the water at the same time.”
Hudson donated an ex-Rowing Canada C2.31 double sculls. It will be used by Germinton’s elite squad who will be chosen based on their “discipline, how well they handle all the other boats in the club and lastly, according to performance,” says Mashigo.
The boat was officially presented to the school at the 2018 South African School Championships by Sizwe (Lawrence) Ndlovu, South African 2012 Olympic Champion from the lightweight men’s four. This was South Africa’s first gold medal in rowing at the Olympics.
The school hopes the boat donation will help inspire more students and young athletes to excel in rowing and hopefully follow in the footsteps of Ndlovu.
Being a unique sport, rowing at the school offers an alternative to the mainstream sports, such as football and basketball, that the school offers.
“A lot of kids know rowing for its intense training, but also what puts the rowing name out there in the school is seeing 90 per cent of the rowing team in their full colour blazers and scrolls, and also having had a Hall in the school named after us,” says Mashigo.