Can your club help African rowers?

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The ninth African Rowing Championships were held in Alexandria, Egypt from 30th November to 2nd December 2012, featuring teams from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

At present the competition is limited to 1x, 2x (including Women and Juniors), J4x and J2-, but organisers are planning to expand the categories next year – including to adaptive events.

The standard of the top athletes is excellent, with several having rowed at the London 2012 Olympic Games. However, coaching support and improved equipment is crucial if Africa’s elite rowers are to continue improving.

For example, both Kenya and Uganda’s teams had only been able to train in stable boats – competing in fine boats for the first time at the African Championships. Despite the sizeable obstacle, they still managed to win three bronze medals.

How to support the development of rowing in Africa

So, what can your club do to help the development of rowing in Africa? There are lots of ways – some of them simpler than you might imagine:

  • If you are planning on taking a holiday to Africa, why not spend some time coaching and or rowing with local athletes? Any time you could give would be hugely appreciated – both by the rowers and their coaches.
  • How about arranging a training camp for your club in an African country – inviting local athletes and coaches to join in? Several of the aforementioned countries have excellent training facilities, and can provide decent boats to use. Flights might be slightly more expensive than a European training camp, but the increased cost can be offset by significantly cheaper accommodation.
  • Why not invite a group of African rowers and coaches to your home-based training camps?
  • You can sponsor a boat (through FISA) to be named by your club, for one of the national teams.
  • To find out what your club can do to help develop African rowing, contact the National Rowing Federations directly, at www.worldrowing.com/fisa/organisation/national-federations.

Alternatively, for more information contact Jim Flood: jimflood42@gmail.com.