A key imperative of ELBA is to grow and foster the sport and discipline of rowing, by creating awareness for the sport and helping schools and other institutions start their own rowing clubs.
Our region has seen the formation of three new clubs over the last year:
- University of Fort Hare Rowing Club
- Walter Sisulu University Rowing Club
- Champs Rowing Club
Our focus is to increase the number of participants in the sport and transformation as part of the development. Through sponsorships and fundraising initiatives, we allocate funds with a specific focus on increasing the participation and training of Black (African, Indian, Coloured) rowers through the individual development initiatives facilitated by our affiliated local clubs; Buffalo Rowing Club, Leander Rowing Club, Selborne College Rowing Club and Clarendon High School Rowing Club.
Currently the focus is supporting children from communities and schools within the Buffalo River area. We endeavour to support the rowing clubs by assisting with costs including entry fees, transport and accommodation for the identified development rowers to participate in the Buffalo Regatta, SA Junior and Senior National Championships.
We are proud of Lukho Mbongisa a pupil from John Biseker School, part of the development programme, who was selected for the 2018 SA Junior Club Rowing Team after his performance at the 2017 SA National Rowing Championships. Funding from ELBA was used to assist and support Lukho and his coach; Jean Ellingson on tour to Zimbabwe.
Further development initiatives include the hosting of a Novice and Master’s Regatta with the pure focus of transferring skills to the new entrants. Coaching and umpire courses are offered as a progression to the rowers to become more involved in the sport and encourage job creation by having an available pool of skilled officials for the various events.
We are pleased that the development initiatives implemented over the last few years has achieved much success for the sport and community.