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Rowers ready for a busy 2011

Our top rowers certainly didn’t put their feet up over the festive season and are hard at work for the 2011 season and beyond to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

World championships were held later than usual in 2010, with Lake Karapiro in New Zealand being the venue for the November event.

The small team to represent South Africa at World Championships were given two weeks off on their return, allowing them to recover both physically and mentally. In the final week of November the team got together for a series of ergo assessments, biomechanical analysis and psychological assessments.

In December the year-end camp was held at the High Performance Centre in Protoria with 16 athletes coming together. A huge boost was the attendance of international mentor coach Gianni Postiglione who spent invaluable time with the rowers at Roodeplaat Dam alongside national coach Roger Barrow. Also at the camp, rowers received tips from the HPC dieticians and food diaries were proved to atheltes to record intake over the unsupervised training time in December.

Structured training for 2011 started on 4 January and the team left for Bethlehem, Free State on 6 January Athletes were rotated through various crew formations with potential being shown in both the lightweight and heavyweight four crews. The camp ended on 20 January and athletes returned to HPC for two days of ergo assessments. Normal training resumed on 24 January  and 14 of the athletes underwent blood tests.

Five of our top rowers are busy recovering from injuries. OPEX programme member Matthew Brittain is making fine progress after a lumbar discectomy and is expected to be in full training by the end of March. Hayley Arthur is recovering from her elbow operation and taking careful care of a troublesome Achilles injury.

Andrew Polasek has recovered fully from back injury, Shaun Keeling is over his knee injury while Lawrence Ndlovu is under treatment for an overuse injury in his right forearm.

National championships are scheduled for May while there are World Cup events in June and July. World Championships this year are scheduled for August in Slovenia