Pupils put their backs into competing

Panashe Gwavava (14) gives his all. Photos by Linda Robertson.
Panashe Gwavava (14) gives his all. Photos by Linda Robertson.
Logan Park High School pupil Aria Nader-Turner (14) rows in the school hall yesterday in the...
Logan Park High School pupil Aria Nader-Turner (14) rows in the school hall yesterday in the annual interhouse indoor rowing contest, with support from Josiah Hunt (17).

There was no blood, but there was plenty of sweat, a few tears and about 60 Logan Park High School pupils gasping for air and flapping blistered hands, all rowing frantically in an attempt to beat New Zealand rowers Mahe Drysdale and Emma Twigg.

Unlike traditional rowing regattas, there were no boats, no water and Drysdale and Twigg were not there.

Instead, four rowing machines were set up in the school hall for the school's annual interhouse indoor rowing contest, which was cheered on by about 150 noisy spectators.

Health, physical education and sport head of department Scott Bayne said the school state-of-the-art Concept D rowing machines were run via computer software which let the rowers see their ''boat'' on a screen, its elapsed time and real-time racing position in the regatta.

Pupils in teams of four, took turns to row 500m each in the 2000m races, with the aim of beating Emma Twigg's 2012 Olympic time of 8min 1.76sec, and Mahe Drysdale's time of 6min 57.82sec.

At the end of the day, two records fell and two records still stood.

While the junior boys and junior girls failed to beat Drysdale's or Twigg's times, the boys managed to beat last year's school record of 7min 42.2sec with a time of 7min 14.8sec; and the girls managed to top last year's school record of 8min 34.7sec with 8min 9.6sec.

For the senior pupils, it was the opposite, Mr Bayne said.

The senior boys and girls managed to beat Drysdale's and Twigg's times again this year, but not the school's record times, set by pupils in last year's regatta.

The records stand at 6min 36.5sec for the boys and 7min 49.2sec for the girls.

Mr Bayne said the event aimed to increase pupil participation in physical activity while developing house spirit and stimulating an interest in rowing.

Whatever the outcome, the event would have been a success, he said.

- john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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