Rowing committee steers clean, green approach

09 Mar 2022

College’s rowing parents committee is embarking on an inclusive environmental policy designed to ensure everyone connected with the sport is aware “that every little bit counts”.

Parent – and College rowing sponsor – Nick James, chief executive of Jani-King (NZ), a business committed to sustainability in the commercial cleaning industry, oversees environmental issues for the committee.

“It’s really important that we consider the effects of our actions on the environment – in everything we do,” he says. “Being involved with the College rowing committee is a great opportunity to update some of the environmental policies and make sure we are adopting a proactive and responsible attitude.”

Looking overseas, particularly at Rowing UK policies, Nick has found relevant guidelines for a New Zealand setting and created a 12-page document of ‘environmental citizenship responsibilities’ for parents and boys involved in rowing.

It encompasses everything from ensuring that rowing sites are free from litter when a training session or competition ends, to considering whether a petrol-driven generator is appropriate for rowing sites. It even covers ensuring that accommodation lights and air-conditioning are off when rowers and supporters leave.

“It’s about taking a responsible approach to everything that we do in the rowing setting,” he says. “It’s all encompassing. For example, we’ve found someone in Twizel who will take our food waste and scraps when we leave and feed it to their animals, rather than it just being thrown out.”

Nick says another big change this summer has been the introduction of three, coloured rubbish bins – allowing for the separation of recycling, food scraps and other items – at the rowing camps in Twizel.

So, whether you are a rower, a rowing parent, or a spectator at one of the regattas, everyone has an environmental role to play.