10 October 2011
Sometimes it seems we will never reach our yearly checkpoints, and then all of a sudden we are there! The most recent check point is resuming back training at Karapiro. World Champs are completed, the holiday is sadly over and now it feels almost like starting from scratch. Its never a pleasant surprise to realise how much fitness you lose with a short three week break…but on the flipside there is a little bit of satisfaction feeling it bounce back.
We’re currently spending half of our day on the water, while the other half we have been getting on our bikes and cycling our way around the back roads of Cambridge. Juliette and I don’t ever proclaim we have any real cycling ability; it is our pure fitness and leg strength that gets us over the hills. But we do enjoy the challenge and the change in training; we aim rather for the training effect than any serious speed which some of the other rowers in the team can claim.
Currently our squad consists of just the two of us, with our coach John, but we are slowly acquiring new members. Our most recent addition is a men’s four to keep us company, though we wont have much luck keeping up with these guys on the water.
It still feels great to be home, enjoying our own beds and the novelty of not living out of a suitcase (though I have heard rumours Juliette is yet to finish unpacking). We have managed to catch up with friends and family, and Juliette was especially excited to be back with her large collection of animals. Worthy of a mention here due to his excellent efforts at growth while we were away is her Kune Kune pig, ‘Spider Pig’.
Cambridge is a great town to live in and the rowers are always made to feel welcome and at home here. The Waipa District Council recently celebrated the rowers’ return to Cambridge post World Champs by hosting a function at the Don Rowlands Centre at Lake Karapiro, presenting us with a rowing themed keepsake crafted from local flax. We really enjoyed the opportunity to chat to some of the very supportive members of the community and meet lots of kids from local schools.
In addition to this blog I have included some notes on RPC’s as we have recently been asked to provide some info about them…so here is a brief overview:
- RPC’s are Regional Performance Centres. There are four in NZ (Auckland, Waikato, Central and Southern)
- There are two categories within RPC’s, U21s and Open - Club rowers must trial to secure a spot in an RPC and once they are selected in an RPC they race the season as an RPC crew, however they still represent their club.
- Summer squad athletes are usually released back to RPC’s for 2 weeks over Christmas/NY and then for another 2 weeks over the National Championships. During this time they get the opportunity to row with RPC athletes and form combinations to be raced at Nationals.
- RPC’s have altered the previous club scene in NZ. Some regions are feeling the effects more than others, but the purpose of RPC’s is to provide a link between school level rowing and elite level rowing.
- Rowing in NZ currently retains only 20% of the athletes that row at school level, and so RPC’s are attempting to improve this low retention rate.
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