First rowing strokes in Mauritius
Mauritius just experienced its first training camp since it joined FISA, the World Rowing Federation, as a member in 2012. The camp took place under the leadership of FISA Development Consultant Michel Doutre and on this occasion FISA donated seven boats, five single sculls and two double sculls, as well as two rowing ergometers.
Doutre described the purpose of the ten-day training camp as an introduction for executives and rowers to the sport of rowing in a safe environment.
Mauritius, an island nation east of the African continent is made up of a number of islands and the camp took place on the main island in the northern village of Baie-du-Tombeau. A local river served as the venue. In a safe environment, this proved to be a perfectly adapted place for introductory and more advanced rowing courses.
The 14 participants were recruited by the president Willy Ng Fuk Chong and secretary general Deenanathsingh Jankee of the Mauritius Rowing Federation. A number of are part of the police force while others are employed in businesses or are members of a sailing club that want to create a rowing section in the southern part of the island.
Apart from two rowers that had taken part in an ergometer course last year and competed at the 2014 African Championships in Algeria, all participants were novices with an average age of 25.
Also, two participants from neighbouring islands attended: Charles Guidon, the president of a rowing club in the Reunion Island, and Philip Albert, the president of the Canoe-Kayak Federation in the Seychelles Islands. Albert wishes to develop the sport of rowing in his nation.
All of the participants worked hard to master the basic rowing technique. Now their objectives are twofold: developing the sport in their island or training to compete at the African Championships near the end of the year in 2015 and in the following years.
“Mauritius has several high-quality stretches of water within the island,” says Doutre, “and numerous lagoons around the island allow for comfortable navigation.”