“Boats, Blades and Blazers” – Alumni Donation for SJCBC Coaching & Bursaries

We are delighted to share the news that John’s alumnus Georg Dalitz (Law Masters 2017-18) has made a significant donation to St John’s College Boat Club for professional coaching for both the men’s and women’s squads, and two annual coaching bursaries for SJCBC members who have shown a keen interest in coaching. The fund and bursaries will be administered by the College in liaison the SJCBC Exec. Georg’s generous support and commitment to the boat club and student personal development will ensure the SJCBC can continue to offer both a competitive and nurturing sporting environment for years to come.

Georg explains: “My year at John’s would not have been the same without the boat club. Anyone who spent time with me during my studies at Durham will probably tell you that I spent more hours rowing, coaching and fixing boats than on my degree. Even if this may be true, the time could not have been better spent. The club gave me the opportunity to have the full “Boats, Blades and Blazers” experience within the one year I was there. Besides rowing 6 seat in the HoRR VIII, I had the chance to row stroke in the first IV and to race the double, a boat I had completely refurbished over the winter break. I also jumped at the opportunity to coach some of the junior boats, which culminated in a regatta win of the Novice VIII at Hexham. After leaving Durham, I was thrilled to hear that Aaron Mason, who had been the keenest junior rower I had coached during my year at John’s, had trained the women’s Novice IV to a victory at Novice Cup. It made me extremely proud and happy to see someone I had coached, successfully carry on the idea that a well-coached crew with the right mindset can beat bigger crews in better boats. Through the fund I want to help rebuild the club, so others may have the same experience I enjoyed; an experience I will cherish throughout my life.”

John Richards, Captain of the Boat Club, comments: “St John’s College Boat Club is extremely grateful for the kind donation given by Georg Dalitz. The club aims to give every rower the chance to excel in rowing and coaching is central in achieving this. There is only so much that can be improved using self-diagnosis, and advice from coaches can be critical in getting the best out of every rowing session, whether it be on the river, rowing machine, or gym. Most of the time, it is members within the boat club who give each other coaching advice. However, due to COVID, much of the coaching knowledge passed down from year to year has been lost, and at times, it has felt like the blind leading the blind. Georg’s donation will allow us to make strides forward in the competitiveness of our top boats, as well as restoring and reinforcing the knowledge base within the club, helping with the training of novice and less competitive crews. We hope that we can put the money to good use over the coming years, becoming more competitive as a club and providing high quality coaching for all our rowers”.

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