Some things in sport are worth waiting for.
The looks of sheer delight on the faces of the Tauranga Girls' College Under-16 Quad crew after winning gold at the New Zealand Secondary School Championship held at Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel says it all.
The crew of Rosie Frood, Courtney Ryan, Saffron Hann, Taylor McCormick and cox Molly Johnson won the Bethlehem College Cup to give the school its first gold medal and New Zealand title at the prestigious event in 11 years.
"The girls worked extremely hard over the season and deserved to win a gold medal," proud coach Duncan Bydelay said.
With 2089 students competing from 120 schools across New Zealand, the regatta was the largest many of the Tauranga rowers have competed at and there was no shortage of pressure from day one through to the finals.
The New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Championship, also known as the Maadi Cup, is held over six days with 600 races staged in 52 events.
Tauranga Girls' rowers entered 20 crews and overall enjoyed a splendid result. Fourteen crews made finals: three A finals, four B finals and four C finals.
"To make an A Final at Maadi Cup is a huge achievement. To have the whole squad rowing in a final was simply outstanding," Andrew Ede, one of the dedicated coaches, said.
Tauranga Girls' College Rowing Club president Phil Holland said the squad of 27 dedicated girls rowed their hearts out.
"The results were simply amazing and huge thanks needs to go to the girls but also the many coaches and large number of volunteers that help to make this possible. We had so many supporters make the trek down south which really made the week," he said.
The squad stayed at the small town of Omarama for the week with a team of dedicated parents and supporters.
Tauranga Girls' College Rowing club captain Bruce Fettes said "the level of commitment these girls have is outstanding".
"To be part of such a great group of girls and to see them grow so much over the season is what makes this all worthwhile. We have been blessed with some amazing coaches who all freely give up their time to help our girls reach their fullest potential.
"We certainly could not run a programme without them. The fact we can compete with the beat schools that have full time paid coaches and deep pockets is a testament to the culture and positive attitude Tauranga Girls' College rowing has."
The feeling among the rowers looking ahead to next year was summed up by Emily Holland, a second-year rower.
"I can't wait to start training again for Maadi Cup next year in Cambridge," she said.
The success in Twizel followed the North Island Champs where the Tauranga Girls' squad of 27 came 12th out of 93 schools. The girls won two gold and two silver medals, including winning the Exhibition Novice Quad with the crew of Olivia Phizacklea, Brooke Poutawera, Danelle Neilson, Isabel Baker and cox Alana Yorke.
Tauranga Girls' College rowing is always on the lookout for coaches and volunteers who are keen to be part of the squad as well as sponsors to help keep the rowing programme going.
Information: Phil Holland on 027 6695354 or firstname.lastname@example.org.