After a few days under the overcast Dunedin skies, the rowers of the Sparks New Zealand Development Camp have settled in to the rhythms and routines of the program.
Each day begins with a light snack at the Sahara, our home in Dunedin, before walking the 2 km to the boathouse for the 8 AM training session. Depending on the weather and what the training program calls for, the rowers might be on the water or inside on the ergs. After a good bout of work, the rowers will head upstairs to the kitchen to make breakfast–usually a big bowl of porridge and several slices of toast with some fruit thrown in for good measure. After their session the rowers are free to explore the many museums, shops, restaurants and sights Dunedin has to offer, or they might choose to rest before their afternoon session. After returning to the boathouse at 3 PM and completing the second session of the day, most rowers are eager to make it to University College (UniCol), a residential hall at the University of Otago, for dinner. The UniCol staff make a special effort to make the group feel at home by chatting with them and asking about their training. After dinner there are a few hours of downtime where rowers are again free to explore Dunedin. The demands of the day cause many to head to bed early so they can consolidate the gains of the day and rest before doing it all again in the morning.
This weekend brings a day of rest and a break in routine to the group. They will use the day off of training to take a day trip down to the Catlins, one of New Zealand’s national parks and a must see for anyone visiting the South Island.