Good luck to the South African junior rowers! The teams leave on 27 July 2018 to compete in the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships in the Czech Republic from 7 to 12 August 2018.

We visited the junior South African rowers on Friday, 20 July 2018 to talk all things social media. We gathered in an English classroom and shared lessons learned and tips for using social media effectively. It was a robust discussion with the rowers sharing their own thoughts and asking pertinent questions.

The rowers were surprised at how much we knew about them before we had even met them; we, of course, had checked their social media accounts before the session so that we could illustrate just how public their social media posts are.

We shared that they can build their social media brand based on what they like and so they can diversify their content in this way. We used examples of celebrities whose fame arose from one thing, but their social media accounts show more than that single thing – their accounts give us a sense of them as a person. The young rowers can also use social media in this way.

A happy photo with the teams at the end of the talk

We reminded the young rowers that all eyes are on them as they are representing our country and our partner RMB. We said to tread carefully around matters relating to race, gender, age, classs and sexual orientation.

“Ask yourself if your granny would be happy to see your posts,” said our word nerd, Colin Ford. “And not just your posts – all of your behaviour. Carry your gran on your shoulder wherever you go.”

These young South Africans have been given an incredible opportunity and they should use it in a positive way. Their social media following will grow as they progress in their careers and they can share positive messages with this audience. We reminded them that besides their friends, families, and sponsors, they may also have young fans who may be looking up to them and they should set a good example.

We also discussed the incredible opportunity they have to visit the Czech Republic and that they should post wisely while they are away; they will experience a different culture and they should respect. We tried not to scare them too much; we reminded them that they can still have fun…and they should!

The rowers seemed excited about the trip and we think they derived good value from our chat.

Good luck to the junior rowers! Show the other teams how well you are Thinking. Pulling. Together.