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Lessons from Rowing Champion George du Plooy

George du Plooy during the Waterfront Rotary meeting

George du Plooy attended Rondebosch Boys’ High School where he was a prefect and captain of the 1st Rowing team and made the SA u16 Rowing and WP u18 Rowing. He is a member of UCT Men’s First Rowing Team and SA Senior Coastal Rowing Team. George is employed at Eighty 20 Consulting as a Junior Analyst.

George du Plooy Rowing Achievements and Career Highlights

Nearly 300 university rowers from all corners of South Africa got together on the Cowie River in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, from 7 to 10 September 2023, to participate in this year’s RMB Universities’ Boat Race. In an exciting Men’s A final, the squad from the University of Cape Town (UCT) (pictured above) came out tops, taking the Cambridge Rudder for the first time in 22 years. An exciting moment for our guest speaker!

The Importance of Teamwork in Rowing

George du Plooy shared with us that rowing is the only sport where teamwork is essential for success. Everyone in the boat has a job to do, and whatever it is they must do it in perfect synchronicity with the rest of the crew. Learning to row and learning to row together is many things and for the most part, fun.

“Rowing is like canoeing – the difference, 12 oars going backwards. With rowing you start from scratch. There is no baseline knowledge.”

4 Essential Lessons Rowing Can Teach Us About Team-Building

  • Seamless Teamwork: Rowing requires teams to work seamlessly together.
  • Unified Goals: The common goal and pursuit of the team must be unified.
  • Pulling More Than Your Weight: Rowers always pull more than their own weight.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: Rowers remain flexible.

Rowing as a Tool for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Temperament plays a critical role – as does sport psychology in sport these days. For those battling the effects of stress, anxiety, or other mental health conditions, rowing is more than a form of exercise; it’s a form of healing, a rhythmic meditation, and a builder of community and resilience.

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