HEAD Coach of Tuks Rowing (TuksSport) Mpumi Geza recently touched on his love for winning and also the love for the colour gold.
In 2018, Geza was crowned as Coach of the Year in the individual sports category at the TuksSport Colours and Awards.
Before he came to UP-Tuks in 2014, he was a head rowing coach at Holy Rosary school from 2012 to 2014. At a point, he also served as a coach for South Africa at the u.23 level.
“Before I joined TuksSport in 2014, I was a head rowing coach at the Holy Rosary school for girls in Johannesburg, where I was also active as a junior national assistant coach for two years and a South African schools development coach for three years,” he said.
Geza said winning bronze with the Tuks team back in 2018 in China was one of his many highlights.
“Almost every year at Tuks has been a highlight. We have grown from strength to strength as a club reaching the very top of the senior club scene, but if I have to narrow it down to a few specific ones it would have to be Student World Championships in Shanghai 2018.”
“We won two bronze medals with Tuks rowers in the lightweight 2x (Ryan Delaney and Chris Mittendorf) and the heavyweight 2x (Bradley Betts and Mzwandile Sotsaka). That year was a testament to the quality TuksRowing is producing,” he said.
Geza said his ability to want to win comes from SA rowing champions of Sizwe Ndlovu, John Smith, Matthew Brittain and James Thompson.
The four won gold at the London Olympics in 2012.
“They put us on the map and inspired us to believe that winning gold is possible. And, that it can be done from right here in Pretoria,” Geza added.
“That culture and mentality are what Roger Barrow [national rowing head coach] drives with his team. I have been fortunate to spend time with him and the national team, learning and instilling that same culture and belief into the TuksRowing Club over the years.”
He said high school rowers who are keen on joining the TuksRowing Club next year should have big ambitions and, most importantly, be patient.
“The young bucks always roll in here with stars in their eyes and big ambitions, which is good. But they need to understand it takes time to become a champion. Invest the time into settling into varsity and build yourself up. Tuks has all the tools to get you there. You just need patience and persistence, and believe it will happen,” said Geza.