ACG Tauranga’s first-ever rowing crew is competing at the Maadi Cup this week.
The regatta is the national championships for rowing in New Zealand and, and with a record 2,166 competitors from 131 schools entered, the event makes it the biggest rowing regatta in the country.
Kelsie Tong, Shakira Cable and Janelle Bishop played netball together for the school and together with Allie Reid decided they would give rowing a try.
Since starting back in April last year, they have been training on the water and rowing machines, travelling to Rotorua, Hawkes Bay and Cambridge to cut their teeth in regattas.
Coach Jodi Tong, mother of Kelsie in Year 11, said the girls have called on their peers from ACG Strathallan for rowing advice, and the girls since met at regattas and have been giving each other support.
“Rowing is a trial sport for ACG Tauranga this year and the commitment in time and effort that the girls have made is phenomenal; they’ve put in so many hours on top of their school work. Not to mention their parents, who have equally had to get up early to get the girls to rowing,” she said.
ACG Tauranga is connected to Tauranga Rowing Club so that for the first part of the season, they can compete as a rowing club together with other schools, as opposed to Maadi Cup, which is restricted to school entry.
“Racing for the club means that we get to race in big boats like the octupule and eight–boats that we can’t compete in as a school because of small numbers” says Allie.
“The bigger boats go much faster and it’s so much fun to compete against others in these boats,” adds Janelle.
Jodi said the crew was looking forward to seeing how they fare against the rest of the novice grade.
“Our club success to date has been very good – with our ACG athletes being right up there. Maadi is so competitive - our aim is to make an A or B final,” she said.
Good luck, girls!
The 2019 Aon Maadi Cup is held at Lake Karapiro from 25-30 March