ROWING: Top coach has big plans for HB rowers

SHANE HURNDELL
GOLDEN ERA? Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell may be just the start of Hawke's Bay's big rowing reputation under development officer, Olympian Dave Rodger.
Body1: Expect Hawke's Bay to continue to produce international rowing stars like world champions Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell and Emma Twigg.
Why? Because the East Coast Rowing Association has appointed two-time world champion and Olympic Games bronze medallist Dave Rodger as their rowing development officer.
Rodger, who has been a New Zealand Rowing Academy coach in recent years, will develop what he describes as "New Zealand's No.1 sport" in the Hawke's Bay, Wairoa and Gisborne clubs' regions from November 14.
Later this week he travels to the international rowing coaches conference in Turkey. From there Rodger will travel to Bath University in Britain where he will study the university's high-performance programme as one of his Prime Minister Scholarship projects.
So when New Zealand's most-capped male rower returns to the East Coast he expects to have more knowledge to pass on to clubs and schools.
"I know there's a lot of talent on the East Coast as several of my academy rowers are from the area. They're of good stock and I'm excited about working with youngsters with a lot of potential," said Rodger.
A member of the world title-winning New Zealand men's eight crews in 1982 and '83 and 1976 Montreal Olympic bronze medallist, Rodger, has a one-year contract with the association but hopes this can be extended.
In addition to providing "a more professional focus" for East Coast's élite rowers Rodger will aim to increase rowing numbers at school and club levels.
"Half of East Coast's secondary schools have rowing programmes.

I want to increase rowing numbers at those schools and then try and get programmes established at the other schools," said Rodger.
"When I was growing up I wanted to be an All Black. But when I realised rowing provided a quicker path to New Zealand honours, I made the switch.
" I'm looking forward to catching up with youngsters on the East Coast who have similar aspirations," he added.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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