There are some great pearls of wisdom and displays of courage in a new rowing documentary that was released by Rand Merchant Bank on 18 May 2020. A Story of Courage is now live on the RMB website and Showmax, and will be aired on various SuperSport channels through to the end of August.
The doccie features rowers and coaches sharing their sporting experiences and triumphs of courage over adversity.
CN&CO is proud to partner with RMB on several PR and comms projects, including the PR for the RMB National Rowing Squad, which the bank sponsors along with other rowing initiatives in the country. We played a small role – at our first Confab – in bringing RMB and the sport of rowing together when then head of RMB Marketing Carolynne Waterhouse met Paolo Cavalieri – to form a mutually beneficial and lasting partnership.
“There’s something special about South Africa,” says head coach Roger Barrow in the opening sequence of the film. “Being successful when you have all odds against you means that much more.”
The RMB National Squad has achieved great things in the past few years – far more than it technically should have on paper.
“Rowing is not a sport that receives a lot of national investment, yet the squad never disappoints on the world stage,” says Roger. “We are often viewed as the underdogs, going into meets with the odds stacked against us.
“The numbers suggest we shouldn’t be doing as well as we are. But through sheer force of will, the squad has risen above many challenges to claim podium finishes in some of the world’s top rowing events – including at the Athens, London and Rio Olympics.”
Some of our favourite quotes from the film:
“Rowing gets kids off the street and puts them in boats. It’s hard and tough and it hurts. But it starts with grooming one kid at a time, and making them better. The younger generation is the future. It will change the country.” –development rowing coach Lebo Mashego
“One person cannot make the boat go fast – it’s about having the whole team driving in one direction.” – Lawrence Brittain, Olympic medallist
“It’s about coming back the next day training harder, fighting – putting yourself out there when you’re in a vulnerable state and still coming out to be the best you can be.” – Kirsten Macdonald (McCann), 2017 world champion
“Courage is not letting anything limit you. It means rising above all the time.” – Thabelo Masutha, world juniors bronze medallist, 2017
RMB’s head of marketing and communication, Alison Badenhorst, says the bank is proud to be associated with the National Squad and with the documentary.
“There are some remarkable stories of courage and perseverance in this squad and the broader rowing community,” she says. “While the Olympics in Tokyo were going to be the final test of many years of dedication and hard work, the postponement of the games for another year has not dampened the team’s spirit. They are putting resilience into practice and remain committed to their goals despite not being able to train on the water. We continue to support and celebrate their courage.”
There are some incredibly touching and inspiring stories in the film, including Lawrence’s battle with cancer and Thabelo’s success at the junior world championships.
A Story of Courage can be viewed on the RMB website (rowing.rmb.co.za) and on Showmax. It will also be screened on a number of SuperSport channels between 13 May and 31 August 2020.
Keep up to date with the RMB National Squad on Facebook and Twitter.