Jovia Manzie, Community Rowing Inc, Boston, United States
With around 5000 members involved in the Community Rowing, Inc’s (CRI) programmes each year, it is by far the United States’ largest club. CRI’s strong focus on grass-roots development and working with under-represented communities was a strong draw for Jovia Manzie, who currently leads a team of six coaches to provide rowing to students within Boston’s public school system.

World Rowing: What motivates you to coach?
Jovia Manzie: Rowing is what taught me the value of a schedule, organisation, and determination. I think I'm motivated by my past coaches to provide that same sense of structure I found so helpful. I am also incredibly motivated by my athletes. They're some of the most resilient people I've met, and I'm very lucky to have gotten to learn so much from them. Their grit makes me want to ensure I'm making the most of their time and really maximizing every opportunity we get to go on the water.

WR: Who inspires you?
JM: I have some amazing coaches around me. That is the whole reason I left Alaska, to completely submerge myself into the rowing culture. I have a great support team in the people I work for and with on a daily basis. There are coaches here at CRI with tons of different backgrounds and who have rowed at many different levels. It also inspires me to be at my best because I know I'm working with some of the best. 

Ulf Meyer, coach, Shanghai Rowing Club, CHN © FISA

Ulf Meyer, Sanghai Rowing Club, China
The Shanghai Rowing Club has seen some ups and downs since its founding in 1863 as one of Asia’s first rowing clubs. After decades of inactivity, the club was reestablished in 2010 and boasts a growing and driven masters membership. German-born Ulf Meyer, himself a relative newcomer to China, has served as head coach since 2014.

WR: What motivates you to coach?
Ulf Meyer: From my early beginnings as a rower, I had opportunity to work with experienced coaches. When I stopped competing, I wanted to keep the same excitement about the sport and starting coaching. Witnessing the development of the team you are coaching is always super and this is both valid for rowing or real life. Nowadays in China, I am happy to continue passing the knowledge outside my home country. I enjoy seeing the enthusiasm of newcomers and experienced rowers.

WR: Who inspires you?
UM: As a rower, my first idol was Thomas Melges and Peter Uhrig. Later Canadian Derek Porter, who won the men’s eight in Barcelona Olympics and then became world champion in the single the next year, was also a big inspiration. My first coaches to inspire me were my parents, both rowers. 

Rosie Mayglothling – British Rowing (GBR)Rosie Mayglothling transitioned from Great Britain’s Olympic rowing squad into national level coaching in 1983, becoming only the second female coach hired by British Rowing. Enjoying a broad mandate from the beginning, Mayglothling has come to hold an influential role at the head of British Rowing’s coach development system, where she relies on what she has always loved about coaching to inspire future generations of coaches.

WR: What motivates you to coach?
Rosie Mayglothling: I got into coaching by accident really and found I enjoyed it. I enjoyed trying to explain to people trying to make the boat go faster. It also helped with my rowing because as an athlete it was the very early stages of my rowing career. Near the end of my international career, I felt that coaching was a next step for me. I think it is that genuine desire to help people be the best they can be and that can be at any level.

WR: Who inspires you?
RM: When I first started, it was Giff Woods. He was extremely patient with me.  But also he just loved being on the river, so he would not just talk about rowing, but the river itself or the wildlife on the river. Penny Chuter was my first coach at the international level. I joined in the 1975 season, the second year of women at the World Championships. Penny was very inspirational in turning the rag-tag group of women into performance athletes.

Derrick Read, coach, Cape Coastal Rowing, RSA © FISA


Derrick Read Cape Coastal Rowing (RSA)
After a decade of high level rowing in South Africa and the UK, Derek Read turned to coaching in the 1970s. At one point he was head coach for both of South Africa’s top rowing universities – one in Johannesburg, the other in Cape Town. Read’s obsession to discover how to execute and coach the perfect stoke is still present in his ‘retirement’ as founder and head coach of the Cape Coastal Rowing Club.

WR: What motivates you to coach?
Derrick Read: Teaching how to row in the sea is something else; [it is] perfect practice to row technically better and better brings out the true joy of rowing and watermanship, blade control and a striving to row effortlessly. The sense of acquiring the skill to control a boat on the moving sea and in lively and windy conditions is a sharing experience which brings calmness and such a sense of wellbeing to both learner and coach. Natural beauty takes on another meaning, just being in harmony with the elements and making boats fly without effort.

WR: Who inspires you?
DR: My rowing inspiration comes from Steve Fairbairn whose 1906 notes on rowing tell it all. Harry Mahon who could teach what few grasped from Fairbairn and Valery Kleshnev who discovered the physics of rowing. The gratification of seeing the joy on the faces of rowers who experience moving boats effortlessly and fast, in the sea, or in touring boats - is that not inspirational too? It is the heart of rowing.