Rhodes University Rowing Club (RURC) elected a new leadership team last night, with new men’s Captain Thomas Lungu becoming the first ever black rower to hold the position.
The 2nd year student, who was initially motivated to study at Rhodes because of his desire to take up rowing, has already started planning for the year ahead.
“[The focus will be on] targeting novices next year and just making sure that they’re fully involved at the club and fully developed.”
Lungu, who also plans to help long-standing members of the B-crew make the jump to the club’s top team, hopes to continue working toward uniting the men’s and women’s teams.
“To train even more as a club would be fantastic. It’s not separated, but from time to time, the men’s and women’s teams tend to do different things. I’d really like to just do everything together.”
Andrew Meiklejohn will serve as Lungu’s Vice-Captain, while Ashton Lucey and Maike Diekmann were elected as Women’s Captain and Vice-Captain respectively.
Bradley Betts, who together with Roodt, Tristan Wentworth and outgoing men’s Captain Nick Greeff represented South Africa in this year’s Guangzhou Universiade, was elected as Boatman.
Meanwhile, Charlie O’Donoghue has been appointed as the club’s new President and will be aided by Vice-President Murray Roodt. Roodt’s sister, Sarah, is the new projects manager.
O’Donoghue expressed his pride at being chosen to replace Jed Theron, stating: “It is a privilege to steer the helm of RURC [and one that] I shall endeavour to give my all to.”
The new president also gave his backing to Lungu, claiming that he was certain that he would “rise to the challenge”.
Lungu also has another admirer in Scott Walraven, the B-crew coach who presided over him this year. Walraven claimed that Lungu “deserves every accolade he gets,” and expressed his astonishment at the new captain’s progress over the last two years.
If testimonies are enough to go by, then the RURC can expect Lungu to implement his plans and continue the work that has seen them showcase their strength on a global stage in 2015.
Words by Leonard Solms