RMB Solutionist Thinking
RMB Solutionist Thinking - Bruce Whitfield and Roger Barrow

There's a medal haul coming in Tokyo, if this coach has anything to do with it

RMB Solutionist Thinking is a podcast series hosted by Bruce Whitfield. It focusses on great South African minds thinking differently and going against the norm. In this episode, Whitfield interviews the South African National Rowing Coach Roger Barrow.

At just 44 years of age, Roger Barrow has already led our national rowing team to international success. In 2012, he coached Team South Africa to their first ever Olympic gold medal at the London Games. Four years later he coached South Africa’s rowers at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. That particular outing may not have concluded in a medals haul, but rather a haul of lessons which he still refers to today.

After being named World Rowing Coach of the year in 2016, Roger turned down an offer to head up Australia’s rowing programme. It would have been the easy route to accept an opportunity in a stronger economy. But Barrow stayed and still today refuses to be affected by the odds stacked against him.

Compared to the approximately 78 000 registered rowers in the United States (the world's most successful rowing country), he has developed a number of world-class teams from less than 3 000 registered rowers in this country.

... there's nothing better, when you're the underdog competing against the GB, New Zealand, Germany - the First World countries who have a lot of the stuff laid out - where they are paid a lot better, and beating them.

Roger Barrow, Coach - South African National Rowing Team

At the time of his interview, Roger has just returned from Lesotho, where he was training his teams at Ha Lejone in the northern part of the Kingdom... in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Rowing South Africa has stated their intention of our teams winning more medals at competitive world championships. Barrow's strategy includes making a bid for three senior medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics - a men's pair, a women's pair and a men's four - and two medals at the 2020 Paralympics.

And, while his crews describe him as being “the ultimate perfectionist”, he is quick to add that a number of factors affect performance and that even the best-prepared teams can suffer defeat because of conditions beyond their control... A lesson he may have had experienced firsthand during that Rio Olympics outing.

I think it's one of the few sports in the world that precision is key. If there's one person out of time, more than likely the boat is not going to go very fast.

Roger Barrow, Coach - South African National Rowing Team

That precision, Barrow says, only comes from time spent on the water. He works with a team of other specialists - each looking after the specific needs of their high-performance athletes. It means that even though South Africa has only won three Olympic medals in recent years, Rowing SA teams are consistently ranked among the top performing countries - posing a real threat to the rowing establishment.

That's the goal. It is putting people in a position that they can go out and win.

Roger Barrow, Coach - South African National Rowing Team

Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Ermos Nicolaou: Solving problems in babies, even before they are born

Ermos Nicolaou: Solving problems in babies, even before they are born

Quite the unusual Solutionist Thinker, Professor Ermos Nicolaou solves problems that occur before babies are even born.

SA's digital footprint traces back to pioneer, Jason Xenopoulos

SA's digital footprint traces back to pioneer, Jason Xenopoulos

As one of the founding fathers of internet businesses in South Africa, Jason Xenopoulos’ digital rap sheet is longer than most.

Like her wines, this winemaker has flourished in some tough conditions

Like her wines, this winemaker has flourished in some tough conditions

When the story of the winemaker can add as much to wine, as the origin of the grape.

To this solutionist thinker, all-access means success

To this solutionist thinker, all-access means success

William Mapham pioneered Vula Mobile, the app that links healthcare workers with on-call medical and surgical specialists.

Meet the technologist disrupting the freight industry

Meet the technologist disrupting the freight industry

Meet Benji Coetzee, a tech disruptor transforming the face of the male-dominated freight transport industry.

Yoco: Small business' saving grace

Yoco: Small business' saving grace

South African fintech venture, Yoco is ensuring that SMEs become the driving force behind wealth development within communities.

Popular articles
Can’t find your phone? Drop everything – thieves can get into your banking app!

Can’t find your phone? Drop everything – thieves can get into your banking app!

Did someone steal your phone? Contact your bank without hesitation warns consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

'Unions are making a mistake. SAA is dying. It’s not Eskom – we don’t need it'

'Unions are making a mistake. SAA is dying. It’s not Eskom – we don’t need it'

SAA is on its knees, cap in hand, asking taxpayers for R2 billion this month. Unions must be careful, warns Guy Leitch (SA Flyer).

[WATCH] Jozi motorist avoids hailstorm with inventive way to cover car

[WATCH] Jozi motorist avoids hailstorm with inventive way to cover car

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

White pupils at posh Kingswood College refer to black scholars as 'snoobab'

White pupils at posh Kingswood College refer to black scholars as 'snoobab'

"This problem is bigger than just a Kingswood problem. The relevant processes will unfold," says College Head Colleen Vassiliou.

Investors need to understand redress and sensitivities, says Eusebius

Investors need to understand redress and sensitivities, says Eusebius

Eusebius engages callers on the Richard Branson tweet that has been widely criticised for lacking diversity.

[WATCH] Pre-school class erupts as boy returns from RWC, goes viral

[WATCH] Pre-school class erupts as boy returns from RWC, goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

We’ll shut you down! – unions to SAA ('overstaffed by any measure globally’)

We’ll shut you down! – unions to SAA ('overstaffed by any measure globally’)

The money-pit airline is fighting for its life. Bruce Whitfield interviews Theto Mahlakoana, a senior political reporter at EWN.

[WATCH] Gay teen fights back against school bully as teachers do nothing

[WATCH] Gay teen fights back against school bully as teachers do nothing

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.