Rowing is a sport of honour, pure competition and strong camaraderie. The boys belonging to St John’s rowing tend to make firm friends in their age group and a sense of brotherhood is prevalent throughout the club.
The school contributes financially to the rowing club, but as rowing is an expensive sport, this contribution does not cover all the running costs and upgrading of the fleet.
Rowing is offered to all interested boys in the College and to Prep boys in their last term of Upper III. Any boy may join. There is no height, weight or any physical requirements. Rowing does, however, demand a high level of commitment and self-discipline.
The rowing club holds open days to give any interested boy a feel of what rowing is about. The Senior boys and coaches show the newcomers how to row and encourage them to join the rowing fraternity.
Training takes place three afternoons per week at Germiston Lake. Buses, arranged by the College, transport the boys directly after school to the lake and return to the school at 17h30. At the sessions the coaches will supervise the boys at all times and work on rowing technique and teamwork. Land training takes place once or twice a week – depending on the age group. There are early morning gym sessions once or twice a week – depending on the age group.
“Part of the attraction is a raw, deep-rooted competitive urge; part of it is the delight in doing something at which one knows one is good and successful; part of it is the sublimely satisfying feeling of overall high-level fitness and strength derived from a supremely demanding sport; and part of it is the sweet sensation of the movement of the boat across the water, the sweep of the sculls, the hiss of the shell, the surge of the bows.
“Then there is the added dimension of a crew – an eight or a four or a double scull or pair – the comradeship of teamwork, the joint effort producing an almost mystical intimacy when everything is clicking together perfectly.” – Daniel Topolski, Boat Race: The Oxford Revival
“Rowing is the ultimate team sport – through complete unison of effort and movement, rowing in a crew builds a great spirit of camaraderie. Whether the crew boat or single scull is chosen, a great deal of enjoyment can be gained from being on the water. It is a sport that involves the whole body, with the leg/hip muscles providing the main power to move the boat. Primarily a medium term endurance sport, rowing also taxes the body’s anaerobic capacities.” – 2002-2003 Rowing Almanac, the official publication of Rowing South Africa