A Napier athlete is asking for extra help to climb the final few rungs of the rowing ladder.

Tom Jenkins, 22, has his sights set ultimately on qualifying for the next Olympics, but first he has to notch off the Under 23 World Championships in Rotterdam.

Mr Jenkins has been selected for the New Zealand Coxless 4 team who will compete in mid-August.

But getting himself to the Netherlands' second largest city is expensive and he still has $3500 to raise towards the $7000 to get himself there.


"With this year being the last time I can qualify, because of my age, I have given it everything and more," Mr Jenkins said.

The rower now lives in Cambridge so he can train at Lake Karapiro alongside several world champions.

He already has a few accolades to his name, in 2012 he was in the Coxed Four that won gold in Junior World Champs in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

During that same year he won the Hawke's Bay Secondary Schools Sportsperson of the Year, followed by the Hawke's Bay Sportsperson of the Year.

His steady stream of success was halted by a mountain biking accident in which he broke his collar bone.

It twisted and overlapped, effectively "bone on bone". "I don't fit in with the rowing crowd, I'm a little bit more of a menace I suppose".

"Training like we have never trained before," since May 30, Mr Jenkins said he was not one to set big goals for himself and was unable to put words to how excited and proud he felt to be a part of the team.

"I don't really know what to expect."


Mr Jenkins sits in the stroke seat of the boat and sets the rhythm of the rowers, which is important for the team's success.

Rising for the day's first training session at 7.30am, then another at 10.30am and usually another in the afternoon, the rower tallies up about 14 training sessions during the course of a week.

The strict training regime leaves little time to pad his bank account through work and he resorts to part-time upholstery work.

His sister, former rower Hayley Jenkins, said her brother was determined and had worked hard to be where he was today.

"All he really wants to do is row, and no matter how many set backs he has had he is still really determined." Mr Jenkins' parents, Bruce and Kathy Jenkins said they were proud of the way their son had dealt with setbacks.

They said his results at this year's National Champs and selection into the squad were proof of his determination, "a well justified reward to all the early morning starts and hard work," his father said.


The team flies out of the country on August 12 and will spend two weeks adapting to the new environment and one week racing in three to four competitions.

"With your help I believe we have a great chance of showing the world what we are made of."

- Tom Jenkins' Give-a-little page can be accessed at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/help4tomjenkins.