Rowers past and present held oars aloft in a guard of honour for Clive Steenson in Te Awamutu last week. The champion rower and coach died on May 28 after a battle with cancer.
Hundreds gathered for his funeral, including many from the rowing coaching fraternity, and New Zealand representatives Graham Oberlin Brown, Luca Ellery and Hannah Osborne.
Clive was born in Te Awamutu in 1946 and spent his early years as part of a farming family in Paterangi. When he left school, he embarked on a plumbing apprenticeship, and later established Clive Steenson Plumbing.
He was well known as a hard-working business owner, but it was through rowing that Clive made a big mark on the lives on many people.
He began his involvement in the sport in 1969, following his brother Peter.
Clive had a number of wins in the Premier Eights at the National Championships.
He was stroke of the Te Awamutu Rowing Club's first crew to win a race, the maiden coxless fours in the Waikato Bay of Plenty Championships, in a boat borrowed from the Waikato Club.
Clive was a member of the Te Awamutu Rowing club for 55 years, including 39 as coach.
He was club captain for 11 years, president for five, and was granted life membership in 1979.
He was a tireless worker, who had the ability to recognise and foster young talent.
Graham Oberlin-Brown was one of those rowers, and spoke at the funeral about Clive's influence on his life.
"Clive's coaching led to my first national medal in the single scull at the Maadi Cup, and joining the national team for six years to win two world championships and a world silver medal."
Graham said Clive recognised the potential of a 14-year old who was not a typical rower, and took him under his wing.
Te Awamutu Rowing Club said Clive laid the foundations for today's club.
"As president and captain, he built the club into a rowing force that punched
well above its weight nationally, and kept the club running through the lean years. However, Clive was first and foremost a rower. As a competitor and coach he was totally committed to helping his crews achieve their best, and always happy to share rowing knowledge and advice with all members."
Clive was recognised for his contribution to coaching rowing with a Sport Waikato Service to Sport award in 2017, which also acknowledged him for raising funds and managing building extensions at the club.
At that time members said his passion, technical ability, patience and problem solving attitude helped pave the way and deepened the culture of the club.
Rowing has been very much a family affair, and daughter Yvette described the rowing club as second home for her and sister Marsha. Clive, Marsha and Yvette were the only active members of the Te Awamutu Rowing Club in the 1993-94 season.
Despite his illness Clive continued to be as active as he could be, recently coaching granddaughter Erin Tickelpenny and Lolkje de Boer to medal success at North Island and National Championships.
Graham said Clive always gave a sense of loving whatever he did.
"Whether it was rowing, plumbing, time with family, trips away in the caravan, or the thrill of home baking to feed his sweet tooth, when you are engaged and enjoy what you do, you will be balanced and work doesn't feel like work."
Clive's casket was decorated with his much-used work boots, his Te Awamutu Rowing Club blazer, and many of the medals won over the years at Secondary and National rowing events.
Clive is survived by partner Sue, daughters Marsha and Yvette and five grandchildren.