Three rowers from the Wits Boat Club will be competing at the World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia at the end of the month.
Stephen Mattushek, Sisanda Msekele and Samantha de Reuck were selected as part of the South African senior rowing team. The students have an opportunity to impress scouts for the London Olympics.
Msekele is a blind student at Wits and will be representing the female senior squad. De Reuck and Mattushek will be rowing in the adaptive boat crew. De Reuck is the cox.
Wits men’s captain, Mattushek, has not won many races this year. “I’ve finished in second place many times. But of those second places, some have been crucial in my rise to international level.”
The senior rowing squad consists of 15 athletes of whom six are from the University of Pretoria (Tuks), one student is from the University of Cape Town, two University of Johannesburg students and the remainder are non-students.
“I had just finished competing at the U23 world championships in Amsterdam when I was asked by the national coach to keep rowing and join the senior squad,” says Mattushek.
He will be rowing in the senior men’s pair competition with Lawrence Ndlovu from Tuks.
The students leave on Sunday for Slovenia, where they will train for a week, before their first race on August 28. They will have daily races during the championships.