The largest regatta in the country, SA Schools Champs, attracted 1 403 athletes from more than 40 schools and clubs around the country to compete at Roodeplaat Dam – home of the RMB National Squad:– 2 – 4 March 2018.

Sean Kerr, president of ROWSA, mentioned that this regatta brings the cream of the crop together, who give it their all.

“It is a privilege to witness the dedication that these rowers show each year,” he says. “My greatest wish is that these athletes will continue rowing after school because they are our future Olympians.

“South Africa has amazing rowers and with the right support we will continue developing world class rowers to represent South Africa at the Olympics with the aim of bringing home more gold!”

CN&CO’s Blake Dyason, who champions our involvement in the RMB sponsorship of rowing, says he was blown away by the support at the event.

“One of my highlights from the weekend was the incredible support from parents and pupils,” he says. “There were the most amazing bands and war cries on the banks of dam – and even screams and tears!”

Each school is tasked with a specific responsibility over the weekend. This ranges from organising the bar or food stand, to putting the regatta programme together. Funds raised by these activities go to the schools themselves, which shows how involved the community and families are to the sport.

“The drone footage was a hit,” says Blake. “RMB sponsored a massive screen that streamed live footage from the start of the races, giving parents the opportunity to watch their kids live and close up.

RMB’s Lucy Lightfoot says the SA Schools Champs is a reminder of how valuable sport is in kids’ lives.

“Rowing teaches commitment, dedication, sacrifice, teamwork and support,” she says. “These are all qualities that will stand these youngsters in good stead in all aspects of their lives, both during their school years and beyond.

“We are extremely proud to support rowing in South Africa, from grassroots level all the way to the RMB National Squad – who are busy preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.”

RMB also sponsored the official photographer for the day, Bruce Viane. Bruce got some incredible shots, which are all available to download – for free, click HERE.

Click here for the full results from the weekend