Three of South Africa’s most successful female rowers, who participated at the World Student Games in Russia in July, will be part of this weekend’s Mutual & Federal Universities Boat Race in Port Alfred.
Kirsten Mc Cann and Kate Christowitz who, respectively, clinched gold and silver medals in Russia, will be among the crew members representing the University of Johannesburg; whilst Cath Stark, a silver medalist, will join fellow rowers from the University of Cape Town.
Speaking about the students’ success in Russia and the impact this has had on the Port Alfred regatta, Sean Kerr, a Trustee of University Rowing, says: “We are proud that, once again, university rowers continued to fly the South African flag high outside the country. Other success stories from this year’s international season include David Hunt who won gold in the men’s under-23 race coxless pair; as well as Gavin Kilpatrick and Willie Morgan who took bronze in the Legs Trunk and Arms coxed fours race at Senior World Championships. Further good news is that they will all be displaying their skills on Port Alfred’s Kowie River.”
The Mutual & Federal Universities Boat Race is a contest between South African universities’ rowing teams who compete in a series of crew versus crew duels in the men’s and women’s categories. In recent years, it has also been used as a platform to groom novice rowers for the mainstream events.
“The novice category of the race is important in that it encourages people to try rowing and we are particularly proud of the impact it’s had on the development of rowing”, says Pascal Pau, Mutual & Federal’s Regional Manager for the East Coast.
According to Kerr, University clubs have also started making use of virtual mediums such as the internet and other online channels to encourage other students to take up rowing in its indoor form.
This year’s race will start on 5 September and finish on 7 September. The nine universities participating are: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal, Rhodes, Wits, Fort Hare and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan.
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