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Crazy Rowing idea becomes reality

Posted By Sportinmalta On May 30, 2015 @ 5:27 pm In Featured,Other | No Comments

Back in 2012, Joe Speck, a frequent and enthusiastic visitor of Malta and a rower himself, came to Klabb Regatta Bormla where he met for the first time some Maltese friends. He wanted to learn more about rowing in Maltese waters and was fascinated at once by the potential of the Bormla Klabb youngsters who at the time were preparing for the September regatta. Soon an idea came up and later that year it was discussed several times with Stephen Paris, then President of the Bormla Club. The main idea was to send some young and talented Maltese Rowers to Germany and introduce them into ‘Olympic-style rowing’ in small boats at Joe’s Club in Leipzig. Ten rowers where chosen, and a shortlisting was done. Subsequently Joe Speck, who had watched several regattas in Malta and observed young rowers closely, suggested to Stephen Paris that they chose Romario Brignone and Maximillian Mamo to be the ones to go to Germany for a training week this year. Preparations began just after the choice was done and all the logistics started to take form.

Thanks to the help of private sponsors, the German-Maltese Association (Deutsch-Maltesische Gesellschaft) as well as a contribution by the Maltese Honorary Consul for Saxony, Mr. Detlef Bischoff, the project could be funded. Accommodation is provided by the Rowing Club while free lunches at Leipzig University Sports Faculty canteen are being sponsored by Prof. U. Hartmann. In the same week, while in Leipzig, the rowers will be attending a boat-naming ceremony. This will take place in the Leipzig Boat Club Akademischer Ruderverein (ARVL) and the new boat, a single sculling training boat in Maltese colours (see photos attached) will be named MALTA. The Maltese Ambassador in Germany, Dr. Albert Friggieri, who was supporting this project from the very beginning, is going to Leipzig on June 10th for the boat-naming ceremony. He said that the Maltese Embassy in Berlin welcomes this event, as it will give good publicity to Malta, help to enhance Maltese sports and may lead to groups of rowing enthusiasts from Leipzig to travel to Malta especially for the regattas. The Maltese National Regatta Association as well as FISA (the International Rowing Association) and the German Rowing Federation (DRV) have been informed about this unique country-to-country project. Leipzig is a city with a long-standing sport and rowing tradition. The city also hosts a National High Performance Rowing Centre.

Training conditions both on water and land are perfect. At ARVL, Romario and Max can look forward to a well-equipped gym and an indoor rowing tank. Coaching will be led by Joe Speck, who holds a German and British Coaching License. He is assisted by Dr. Daniel BrĂ¼derle, a licensed rowing coach. The two Maltese rowers are accompanied by Stephen Paris. Their one-week stay in Germany will also include an introduction to the German language every day. The members of Akademischer Ruderverein are very much looking forward to their Maltese guests. They hope to learn more about Malta and to be able to go there to attend one of the spectacular traditional Regattas in the Grand Harbour.

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