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Sports, arts and activities

Medals come thick and fast for top rower

When it comes to rowing, ACG Strathallan student Jacob Kearns is at the top of his game.

Gold medallist in the Under 16 Single Sculls at this year’s Head of Harbour Regatta, Jacob also topped his division in the North Island Secondary School Rowing Championships and the Aon Junior Regatta.

Meanwhile, rowing for Counties Manukau, he took out the Under 16 Singles at Blue Lakes Regatta, Karapiro Memorial Regatta, Christmas Regatta and the North Island Club Champs. Plus, he won the NZ Indoor Rowing for the Under 16s in the 500m and 2000m events.

That’s a lot of accolades – but the dedicated Year 12 student says one award in particular really stands out.

“The highlight of my rowing so far would have to be winning Novice Crew of the Year with Michael Kong at the Auckland Rowing Annual Awards.”

Jacob’s phenomenal success on the water has done much to put ACG Strathallan on the rowing map, and the good news is, he is just getting started.

“It was disappointing that this year’s Maadi Cup [the National Championships for secondary school rowing in New Zealand] had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, but it would be really good to win the Under 17 singles at the next Maadi! For now though, I’m looking to make the North vs South squad as a primary goal.”

Jacob started rowing in 2018, and instantly found his niche in the single sculls. It’s a sport he has grown to love, and one that has taught him a number of important life lessons.

“My favourite thing about rowing is the atmosphere – that amazing mixture of comradery and family. Yes, it is challenging, and it doesn’t leave much time for other sports, but it teaches you valuable time management skills. You end up getting pretty good at doing schoolwork in the car and early in the mornings!”

In season, Jacob trains up to four hours a day from Monday to Thursday, all day Saturday, and every Sunday morning. It’s a big commitment but this outstanding oarsman wouldn’t swap it for the world.