MARI-LOUISE DE KOCK
TuksRowing can hold their heads high as four of their rowers made it into the Blues and Grudges teams at the 2011 USSA Sprints.
The USSA Blues and Grudges race is an exhibition race that takes place after the Regatta once a year where Tuks rowers David Hunt, Kate Johnstone, Carmen Lammerding and Imogen Mackie all qualified for the respective men’s and women’s teams. Hunt made it into the USSA men’s Blues Eight team fort he second time and Johnstone made it into the USSA Blues women’s team for the third year in a row. Lammerding and Mackie both secured a place in the USSA women’s Grudges team, Lammerding making the Grudges Double team and Mackie making the Grudges Four team.
Hunt told Perdeby that “rowing for Tuks has given me the opportunity to train and race with many experienced athletes such as Beijing Olympian Shaun Keeling, double u/23 world silver medalists James Thompson and Matthew Brittain, as well as last year’s u/23 World Champions, Lawrence Brittain and John Smith.” Johnstone seconds this statement by saying that she is very fortunate as a rower as many of the national athletes are based at Tuks and exposure to the training and mindsets of top class athletes has been a phenomenal experience.
According to Lammerding, she has a very hectic university timetable and sometimes practises on weekends as her demanding timetable does not allow her to do so during the week. Although self-discipline and hard work are the key principles in these rowers’ training, in the end it is very rewarding: “I probably enjoy the feeling that all your hard work has paid off when you beat someone else in a race,” said Hunt.
Not only does rowing have the visible end results, but the rowers also benefit from the learning experience of pushing themselves physically and mentally. Mackie said: “No matter how hard the session is, friends will always make it better. You will always have fun doing a sport that is too amazing for words.”
Although these rowers have made it into the Blues and Grudges teams they will continue rowing for Tuks.