2022 Scholarship Recipients
In his first year in club rowing and already being spotted as a stand-out national talent Xavier Simpkins has also collected another – less desirable reputation - as an indestructible athlete in the Buck Shelford and Richie McCaw mould, coming back from both a tropical illness to compete effectively at national level despite a severe back injury.
After a dominant early season (22/23) he contracted dengue fever at the turn of the year. Fighting back to the North Island champs three weeks later he bagged Consistent training and with coach Sam Jackson’s help from my main recovered to place got a bronze in the double scull, forth as stroke of the quad and fifth in the single.
All this cost him a severe back injury two weeks out from nationals. Treatment saw him win a place in the 3A finals, which cost him renewed back injury. More treatment saw him achieve 3rd as stroke in the Senior Double and fifth in the senior quad before finally withdrawing from the eight.
The injury continued to dog him through the Nationals and with a worsening condition and heavy strapping he produced mixed results before being forced to withdraw. Nevertheless he’d done enough to be added to the New Zealand Under 21 squad – a great result even for an uninjured 18 year old – and remarkable for on carrying such an injury.