St Peter’s, Cambridge is consistently one of the top rowing schools in New Zealand. Our Rowing Academy trains at Lake Karapiro, one of New Zealand’s premier rowing venues and the home of RowingNZ. Our Rowing Academy has an outstanding record of success in all rowing formats and has produced New Zealand representative rowers. It provides holistic, tailored programmes that develop talent and pathways for students to excel as rowers.

Programme Structure

Prep rowing introduces our Years 7–8 students to the sport. It runs in term 4 each year, teaching the basics of rowing so that students who want to pursue it are ready to join the Junior Novice programme.

Year 9 Physical Education provides students with the opportunity to try rowing. Across three sessions the students progress from the rowing machines in the school gym to rowing out of our boatshed on Lake Karapiro. This helps them to develop basic skills in the gym and on the water. Year 9 students can also join rowing through the novice program offered.provides students with two opportunities to experience rowing. During Year 9 orientation week students can try rowing on the water and on rowing machines at our Lake Karapiro boatshed. As part of Year 9 Sports Studies all students participate in a three week programme where they can develop basic skills in the gym and on the water.

Our junior novices squad is for new rowers in the Under-15 age group. The training programme focusses on helping our rowers develop the basic technique and fitness so that they can enjoy rowing. The success of this programme is seen in the continual flow of students into our senior squads.

Our development/senior novices squad is for experienced Under-16 rowers and new rowers in the Under-17 and Under-18 age groups. This programme focusses on developing rowing technique and physical fitness and strength. Our student rowers also begin to develop a squad culture of dedication, self-motivation and ambition.

Our high performance/seniors squad is for experienced Under-17 and Under-18 rowers. The training programme continues to develop excellence in technical skill and introduces gym-based strength training. Our high performance rowers also gain experience in small boats. The squad competes in regional and national regattas and rowers have opportunities to trial for representative teams.

Our vision is to promote excellence in the sport of rowing at St Peter’s. The Rowing programme will develop and maintain an infrastructure that will enable rowers to achieve their full potential. We will create a culture of rowing success both within and outside the school environment, so current and future students will value their rowing experience at St Peter’s.


  • To consistently be the top rowing school in NZ.
  • To grow great people by instilling a strong work ethic and discipline, along with developing time management skills and strong team work attributes.
  • To have a positive and healthy culture that celebrates and rewards success at all levels of achievement.
  • To have the best school rowing facilities and provide the greatest opportunities for student rowers in New Zealand.

Rowing Accolades

  • Top school at the NZ Secondary Schools Rowing Championships in 2018, 2016 and 2012; runner-up in 2017, 2015, 2014 and 2011; 3rd place in 2019 and 2010.
  • Top school at North Island Secondary Schools Rowing Championships in 2019, 2017, 2016 and 2012; runner-up in 2015, 2014, 2011 and 2010.
  • Winner of Presidents Scull (top sculling school in NZ) in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2010.
  • Our rowing academy hold seven NZ Secondary Schools Rowing Championship records, the most by any school in NZ.
  • 28 NZ representatives at Junior, University, Under-21, Under-23 and Elite level teams.
  • 11 Students have won scholarships to study and row in the USA.
  • Our rowers have become coaches at school, club and national level.

2019 Highlights

  • Beckie Leigh and Jason Nel have been selected for the NZ Junior Rowing Team to compete at the Junior World Championships in August, 2019. This will take place in Tokyo as a test run regatta for the 2020 Olympic regatta. We wish them well on this exciting experience.
  • Holly Williams and Atlanta Bruce were selected for the North Island Rowing Team which competed against the South Island. The girls won all three of their races, which contributed to the North Island winning the overall points trophy for the first time in seven years.
  • National Title holders of the U16 Girls Quad, U18 Girls Double and U18 Boys Single at the 2019 New Zealand Secondary School Championships.

Alumni rowers performing with distinction 

  • Lucy Spoors – NZ Elite Women’s Sweep squad to compete at the 2019 World Cup Regatta’s.
  • Matthew Dunham – NZ Elite Men’s Lightweight Double to compete at the 2019 World Cup Regatta’s.
  • Ben Van Dalen – NZ Elite Men’s Lightweight Single to compete at the 2019 World Cup Regatta’s.
  • Sam Voss – NZ Elite Women’s sculling squad to compete at the 2019 World Cup Regatta’s.
  • Brooke Kilmister – NZ U21 Women’s Pair, Four and Eight for 2019
  • Brie Perry – NZ U21 Women’s Pair, Four and Eight for 2019
  • Camilla Cochrane – NZ University’s Women’s Eight to compete at the Trans-Tasman Challenge 2019.
  • Katie Bell – NZ University’s Women’s Eight to compete at the Trans-Tasman Challenge 2019.
  • Tom Stannard – Coach of NZ U23 Men’s Sweep Squad for the 2019 U23 World Championships


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