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Sports, arts and activities

Getting on board with rowing

Rowing is growing in profile at ACG Strathallan thanks to the efforts of parent and coach Mike Ruiterman and his fellow coaches Hayden Shaw, a former ACG Strathallan Pupil, and Charles Haggie, Counties Manukau Rowing Club Head Coach.

“As of this year we’re really aiming to build the programme and push rowing as a sport to complement the winter sports offered at the school,” Mike said. “Most school athletes find that after a season of rowing they are fitter and stronger when they come back to their chosen winter sports.”

The school is affiliated to Counties Manukau Rowing Club, which provides the boats and location on the Waikato River. Mike came on board as coach at ACG Strathallan following his success coaching students at the club.

ACG Strathallan currently has 16 students taking part – training four afternoons a week and one double row on Saturday. The aim for Mike is to increase numbers involved at the school by adding ten new girls and ten news boys in the under-15 age group. Coaching goes right up to the under-18 age group.

Being affiliated to a club means the school doesn’t have to have its own boats and equipment so anyone can take part, Mike says. “Because I enjoy rowing and coaching so much, I’m excited to see the sport develop at the school with more students getting involved. Eventually I’d love to see ACG Sunderland and ACG Tauranga involved, too.”

The club rowing season runs from September to January. The school rowing season runs from December to March, peaking at the Maadi Cup – the biggest regatta in the world. All schools participate at both club and school regattas.