High school's novice eight doing just great

18:35, Feb 06 2013
tghs novice rowing 8
ON DEBUT: Timaru Girls High School first ever rowing eight won a bronze in the under 15 novice race on Lake Ruataniwha (from left) Emma Sorenson, Tayla Peter, Tayla Brown, Lily Spittal, Jodie Sole, and cox Brooke Clemmett.

Timaru Girls' High's newest crop of rowers have entered the school's history books.

TGHS have not only had an eight boat on the water for the first time, but the crew made the podium.

Racing in the under-15 novice event at the South Island Championships, they finished third behind the powerhouse rowing schools Rangi Ruru and St Margaret's, from a field of eight.

Rowing has seen a big increase in numbers since New Zealand's Olympic successes but in the case of the TGHS, crew it was a fun video the school put together that inspired them.

Tayla Brown said she didn't have a clue about rowing but saw a video at the school hall.

"It looked like a fun thing to do, they didn't show the hard work that goes in or the ergs (rowing machines), it was just the swimming and sunshine."


Now she is hooked on the sport.

Cox Brooke Clemett said she hadn't previously heard of her role in the boat.

"Mum's friend just said they were looking for someone small and I thought I would give it a go. Now I love it."

Emma Sorenson joined up because a friend had started and is enjoying it.

Lily Spittal finds the sport keeps her occupied. "You don't have time to be bored."

Tayla Peter and Kate Hurst are the only second-year rowers in the eight.

The girls agreed they had one secret weapon in the crew, Tarina Crampton, whose twin brothers Russell and Cameron rowed for New Zealand at the World Junior Championships.

Although it is still early days for the eight they are hoping to improve their time by a couple of seconds on Lake Hood in a fortnight to qualify for the New Zealand Secondary School Regatta, the Maadi Cup.

Coach Glenn Patterson said he was impressed by the girls' efforts and they were showing promise.

It is also special when any school gets an eight boat on the water for the first time, he said.

The girls and their parents have already shown plenty of commitment, since they have had to head to Lake Opuha to train, given Saltwater Creek is unsuitable because its levels are too low.

The bronze-medal crew was: Emma Sorenson, Tayla Peter, Tayla Brown, Lily Spittal, Jodie Sole, Tarina Crampton, Madison Gillespie, Kate Hurst and cox Brooke Clemett.

The Timaru Herald