Posted on 07 December 2021
Three Olympic rowers become ambassadors for the Kafue River & Rowing Centre
Momentum is building around the innovative Kafue River & Rowing Centre (KRRC) in Zambia – a flagship initiative of World Rowing and WWF under their Clean Water partnership.
Not only has a high profile, local fundraising committee been established and work begun on the project site along the Kafue river – which provides most of the water supply for the capital, Lusaka, and much of the electricity to power the country’s economy – but three Olympic rowers have also signed up as new ambassadors for the Centre.
Seven-time Olympian, Olaf Tufte of Norway, is one of the best-known rowers in the world. Tufte’s first Olympics were in Atlanta back in 1996 since when he has won two Olympic golds, a silver and a bronze as well as multiple World Championship and World Cup medals. He is both a farmer and fire-fighter, is involved locally in environmental activism and has his own brand of sustainable-produced clothing – so has many good reasons to support this initiative.
Growing up on a farm in Namibia, Maike Diekmann knows very well the importance of clean, fresh water to the people and nature of Africa. In Tokyo she competed in the women’s single sculls – becoming Namibia’s first ever Olympic rower.
And last but definitely not least – Sam Bosworth is a new Olympic Gold Medallist, having coxed the New Zealand men’s eight to an incredible win in Tokyo. Bosworth, a Bachelor of Environmental Management and Planning, is already very much involved in environmental initiatives in his home country, especially the Waikato River where New Zealand’s national rowing team trains.
Our latest ambassadors are all very different in their ages and experience but each is involved with their local water environment and all have very personal reasons to take an active role in supporting the KRRC and the Clean Water partnership between World Rowing and WWF.
Don’t take our word for it: you can listen to them in these short videos from Olaf
It is great to have their support for this first-of-its-kind river and rowing centre, which will benefit not only rowers but also efforts to enhance the health of rivers in Zambia, Africa and further afield.
The Kafue River and its surrounding ecosystem is a microcosm of the challenges that our global water ecosystems are facing - including impacts of hydropower, over-abstraction of water, and industrial, agricultural and urban pollution. And climate change. All of these threaten communities, businesses and ecosystems.
The Kafue River and Rowing Centre is the perfect location for studying the demands on this critical river as well as being a place where decision-makers, academics, businesses, scientists, conservationists from WWF and other organisations, and local communities will come together to understand, plan and better manage the freshwater resources they depend on. It is also a place where rowing can be taught and developed, being situated just 200 metres from a local school, which will use the rowing equipment as a part of their physical education programme.
For more information, please see Kafue River & Rowing Centre - World Rowing
. Your support is critical, so if you also would like to contribute to this very important project please contact WWF-Zambia or World Rowing.