Local lass makes SA Universities squad

ROB KNOWLES

DETERMINATION, fitness and a passion for the sport propelled former Port Alfred athlete, Kim Denton, into the South African Universities rowing squad.

Following recent SA team trials, Denton was selected to represent South African Universities as a B squad member in an eight.

KICKING BACK: Former Kowie lass Kim Denton has been excelling in university rowing since taking up the sport at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She does not usually look so relaxed in a single scull Picture: SUPPLIED

Denton, 23, a former Port Alfred High School (PAHS) pupil, first became interested in rowing about a month before she left school.

“The school (PAHS) began coaching rowing a short time before I left,” said Denton who enrolled at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) to study sports management and took up rowing there.

After only a month of training, Denton took part in her first race on which she commented, “There’s nothing like being dropped in at the deep end.” However, it was at this time she became hooked on the sport.

“Rowing is quite a difficult discipline that requires lots of dedication, lots of training and lots of commitment,” she said.

Typically, rowers will race in either single or double sculls and quads, which race over a kilometre, or eights, which race over four kilometres. Denton has competed in all sections.

“The quads and eights attract the most interest at competition as they are team sports and are contested over greater distances,” said Denton.

It was with gritty determination that NMMU pulled back two positions at last year’s University Boat races, held on the Kowie River in September, from eighth to sixth place overall.

“One of our big problems in the past was in getting enough girls together to form a team. Last year we managed to compete with a full squad and this year we have an even stronger squad as well as more members,” said Denton.

Denton will graduate from NMMU next week with a diploma in sports management, and will then take post graduate courses in education during the next academic year. She hopes to work as a teacher and assist schools in developing their sports curriculum.

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