SA’s first gold medal winner for rowing navigates his career

South Africa’s first ever gold medal winner for rowing Sizwe Lawrence Ndlovu landed in Port Alfred on Tuesday for University boat race 2021 which started with registration last week on Wednesday and he shared his outstanding sporting career from being a rower to a coach.

ROWING GURU: Sport fanatic 2012 gold medallist winner for rowing at the 2012 Summer Olympics Sizwe Lawrence NDlovu is in Port Alfred this week and he navigated his incredible rowing sport career with TotT Picture: TK MTIKI

Ndlovu was crowned the South Africa’s first ever Olympic gold medal winner for rowing at the 2012 Summer Olympics which took place in London.

Stating how winning gold medal came about Ndlovu said: “I guess as I always say before any journey you must have an end in the beginning. It came from preparing and the number of years that were put on as a team together to practise and the commitment.”

If Ndlovu’s words are anything to go by he is a living testimony of the saying ‘it’s never too late to start’.

“But I started rowing at a very late stage of my life I was 16 years old. The early stage is 13 or 14 years old. I started in high school in 1996. I came from Mpumalanga where we did not have any sport,” he said.

Ndlovu said at the time he started rowing he had moved from Mpumalanga to Johannesburg and he fell in love with the water sporting.

“We were all encouraged to do sport and I was very much overwhelmed.  It was one of those moments I just wanted to do something I have never done. I was looked after,” he said.

Ndovu went on describe healthy environment as the small rowing family saying the conduciveness of the environment made him not to look back. He further stated that rowing got him a bursary at the university.

He also highlighted that he is currently disseminating his rich experience as the coach to the same university that he was part of as a student.

It feels good to be back to the same university that I attended as the student to be the manager and coach of their sporting club. I always knew that I wanted to be the coach that was my plan. I did Sport Management Sport Science. I was more driven into sport,” he said.

Ndlovu said he was currently coaching ladies team. He went on to mention his colleagues Athenkosi Hlekani from Port Alfred who is coaching the men A team and Lebo coaching the men B team.

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