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University Announces High Performance Rowing Centre

Dunedin lights

Friday 22 May 2009 11:46am

University's men's rowing 8. The establishment of a High Performance Centre for rowing has been announced by the University of Otago and Rowing New Zealand (RNZ) today. The new Centre will be based at the Otago University Students' Association Aquatic Centre and will be the preferred training venue for the development of young New Zealand rowers.

Associate Professor David Gerrard, Director, Development and Alumni Relations says the new relationship will promote the careers of many young rowers, and will have mutual benefits for both the University and RNZ.

"We are delighted with the announcement, as this recognises the status of the University's rowing club as an elite national club in New Zealand. We are fortunate to have elite rowers studying at Otago, and these committed athletes are also very good students.

"The future of rowing at the University is immense and there are now increased opportunities for our rowers to achieve at the highest level, both nationally and internationally. We look forward to facilitating the careers of many New Zealand rowers," he says.

Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg says the partnership with RNZ is an exciting development for the University.

"I would like to thank Rowing New Zealand for choosing the University of Otago Rowing Club as a partner in the development of athletes and coaches focused on high performance outcomes.

As well as being New Zealand's leading research-intensive university, we put great emphasis on providing a rounded campus experience. The sporting success of our students and their involvement in elite sport is valued by the University," he says.

The University's men's rowing eight has recently won a prestigious invitational event in Chengdu, China, in front of more than 100,000 spectators. The team won gold, ahead of Trinity College (USA), Peking University and the University of Sydney and other prestigious universities, such as Yale, Milan and Copenhagen, which did not make the final. The team's performance of a haka was a highlight of the event's welcoming concert, which was attended by around 25,000 people and broadcast on Chinese TV.

Notes for media:

Media are invited to a special function which will be held in the Reception Room, first floor of the Clock Tower at 4pm on Friday 22nd May. At this function details of the relationship will be announced.

Associate Professor David Gerrard and Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg will be among those in attendance. There will be the opportunity for media to take photographs. Photographs can be supplied by the University's media office. Please contact Megan McPherson, should you require photographs, and if you wish to attend the function.

The University of Otago Men's Rowing Eight will be in attendance along with the trophy from their recent win in Chengdu, China. Members of the crew are all current students in Commerce, Surveying, Physical Education and Health Sciences. The team expects to defend their title in 2010. The crew that competed in China was:

  • Todd Hale (Bow)
  • Matt Adam (2)
  • Scott Van den Bosch (3)
  • William Shaw (4)
  • Campbell Lowe (5)
  • Jamie Orsborn (6)
  • Alistair Bond (7)
  • Mark O'Connor (Stroke)
  • Michael Dessoulavy (Cox)
  • Richard Sharp (Reserve)
  • Fergus Fauvel (2Km Erg Competitor)
  • Adam Garden (Cultural Performer)
  • Luke Herlihy (Cultural Performer)
  • Richard Parr (Coach)
  • Glen Sinclair (Manager)

Rowing New Zealand

For more information, contact

Assoc Prof David Gerrard
Director of Development & Alumni Relations
Office of the Vice Chancellor
University of Otago
Tel 64 3 479 8381

Megan McPherson
Head of Communications
Marketing & Communications Division
Tel 64 3 479 5452

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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