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Date Released: Fri, 2 August 2013 12:10 +0200

Rhodes Sport’s Rowing High Performance and Community Outreach programme just got R800 000.00 richer following Lotto’s first allocation of the R1.2 million grant. “It is really exciting to finally be able to have funds in our bank account. One of the reasons that we did not make big noise about this funding earlier was because we wanted to first make sure that the money is with us, so now we can make as much noise as we want”, said Mandla Gagayi of Rhodes Sport. The remaining balance of R400 000.00 will only be transferred to Rhodes Sport’s accounts once they submit a report on how the initial R800 000.00 has been spent. Asked as to how they intend to spend this money, Mr Gagayi said “the plan is to start by purchasing all the relevant equipment for both Rowing HP and Community Outreach programs. This will make it easy for us to spend and report within 12 months. We will then use the remaining balance of R400 000.00 towards long term things such as athlete support, scientific testing, administration etc.” The people that have been tasked to coordinate all these programs are as follow: Dr Candice Christie (HKE) will be in charge of Rowing High Performance with the assistance of Donovan Cech (Eastern Cape Rowing). Xolisa Kula (Rhodes Sport) will be in charge of all community outreach programs (hockey, soccer, netball, karate).

Dr Christie and her team have been proactive enough to visit the High Performance Centre at University of Pretoria in order to see how they work with their rowing high performance program. This is the program that produced Olympic gold medalists for South Africa.

“We are very grateful to Lotto for its continued support of Rhodes Sport, this kind of support makes a huge difference in our operations and we will be able to channel funds to other areas where there is a need. Best of all is the fact that our rowing high performance program will not only benefit Rhodes rowers, we will open it to all the rowing clubs and schools in the Eastern Cape. Even our clubs other than rowing will benefit from this high performance program because as much as it is tailored for rowing there will be equipment that can also be used for other sports” said Mandla Gagayi