Winter's talent-spotting proving a master stroke
Rowing may be a summer sport, but much of Southland's success actually stems from what happens in the winter months.
The Southland Rowing Association launched a winter training programme seven years ago, aimed at youngsters whom the association believe have the ability to reach national honours.
That 28 percent of those who have taken part in the ILT Foundation-funded programme have represented their country is evidence the quest is working.
Hayden Cohen took part in the first year of the programme when he attended James Hargest College. This week he is competing at the World Rowing Championships.
Kristen Froude and Lisa Owen, who last month competed at the World Under-23 Championships, are also products of the programme.
There are 18 high school students part of the 2013 winter training squad and for the first time it includes rowers from Queenstown, five taking part in the various training camps.
The programme has the young rowers in the gym three mornings a week working with strength and conditioning coach Will Payne. They also spend time on the water brushing up on technique under the guidance of internationally-regarded coach Duncan Holland.
There is also an education element where they learn about different aspects of being an athlete, including nutrition.
Programme co-ordinator Fiona Comer said the winter programme benefited the progress of their promising rowers.
"When they are not racing it gives them time to work on strength and flexibility, they even do a bit of pilates and things like that. They also work a lot on technique, it sets them up going into racing in the season."
John O'Connor was a major player in getting the programme started.
"It was really formalising what a lot of the clubs had already doing off their own bat, trying to provide a weight training programme and a bit of erg work.
But it gives it a bit more kudos when you're selected from your clubs and come together as a group.
It's also independent from anyone club by having a coach come in from outside the region and also having someone outside rowing doing the strength and conditioning work," O'Connor said.
Winter training programme squad: Under-19 Guy Redpath (WAI), Annabel Ronald (WAI), Penny Barnsdale (WAI), Georgia Yaxley (WAI), Olivia Macdonald (WAI). Under-17/18 George Dennison (WAKA), Adam Carter (WAI), Tim Yaxley (WAI), Katie Moffat (WAI). Under-16/17 Michaela Townshend (WAI), Cameron Perkins (INV), Thomas Elder (INV), Rowan Haveron (INV), Josh Hayes (WAI), Dylan O'Connor (WAKA), James Ramsay (WAKA). Under 15/16: Jacob Flanagan (WAKA), Hayden Bewley (WAKA).
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