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Rowing great takes Leadership Award at Halbergs

17 February 2006
Embargoed until 10pm

Rowing great takes SPARC Leadership Award at Halbergs

Rowing legend, Don Rowlands, received the SPARC Leadership Award at this evening’s Say When Halberg Awards in recognition of his outstanding contribution to New Zealand rowing.

The award is given annually by SPARC to one outstanding sportsperson whose service to sport inspires New Zealanders with a vision, shows integrity and provides leadership which is effective, focused and inspiring.

“When nominating sportspeople for the award, we look to the sector for people who display the qualities and values of a true leader – and Don could not have exemplified this better,” said SPARC Chief Executive Nick Hill.

Hill said that Rowlands had displayed the highest level of energy, commitment, and enthusiasm both as an athlete and an administrator.

“He is people-focused, has a world-leading approach to sport and provides leadership which is effective, focused and inspiring.”

Rowlands won nine New Zealand championship titles in the single sculls, double sculls and eights, as well as winning a gold medal at the 1954 Empire Games.

As an administrator, he was the mastermind behind the 1978 Rowing World Championships, which many in the international rowing community regard as the best ever held.

“As a direct result of Don’s input the awareness of the sport has really grown - he is an outstanding administrator,” said SPARC Chairman, John Wells.

Don Rowlands is the patron for Rowing New Zealand’s bid to host the 2010 World Championships at Karapriro.

“Don Rowlands is an iconic New Zealander. His contribution to the sport of Rowing as an International Oarsman, National selector, Volunteer Administrator and Mentor has been a lifelong commitment,” said Rowing NZ CEO, Craig Ross.

“Only once in a lifetime do you have the opportunity to have your path crossed with someone of Don’s stature. I have been fortunate to work with Dons and have found the experience inspirational. His leadership qualities have been shaped by a lifetime involvement in business, sport and community service,” Ross said.

Last year’s SPARC Leadership Award recipient was rugby icon, Sir Brian Lochore.


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