Brad Rowe: The End of an Era; The Birth of an Era

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 16:56

Brad Rowe, one of the most influential people in aquatics and primarily water polo, is set for a new challenge as he departs from Clifton College and heads to Westville Boys High School. Rowe is the head coach of the SA water polo teams, mentoring coaches and players in the process.

Rowe's passion for the sport has helped the sport grow, and Coaches are now able to share knowledge amongst each other, raising the standard nationally.

Rowe started his water polo playing and Coaching career early on in his life when he attended Westville Boys High School. From then on he was part of the Durban High School Coaches that led to DHS's unrivaled Durban and District swimming and water polo teams' success.  His ten years at Clifton has seen Clifton reap the rewards as one the best water polo playing schools in the country from the youth players all the way up to the seniors.

Rowe's players praise his coaching ability and his players often almost always go the extra mile to do their best to make him proud. His success stems from the passion he has for the sport, his mentality of hard work, consistency, and perfection.

Coaching Career:

  • DHS  1992 - 2003
  • Clifton 2004 – 2014

Brad shares his thoughts on his playing career, his new challenge as he makes the transition from a coach to a more administrative role, and why he chose to leave Clifton for Westville.

You’ve achieved so much with Clifton School, How do you feel as you leave?
Brad Rowe: It is always sad to leave but I believe I have achieved what I set out to do here so it is time for a career change.

What systems have you left in place at Clifton in order for them to continue their success?
Brad Rowe: The coaching structures are well set in place and the junior teams are used to training hard and achieving success so the transition to Paul will be very easy.

What are your plans for Westville and what do you plan on achieving with them?
Brad Rowe: I am having a career change in that I move away from coaching into a more administrative role, but I will still be involved in aquatics and hope to mentor their coaches while creating a system that leads to success.

He and I have worked together with National teams for the past 5 years and he is a superb coach with a great work ethic.

Why have you elected Paul Martin as the new aquatics director and what do you feel he will bring to the table?
Brad Rowe:  The headmaster picked Paul out of all the applicants and I agree with his choice. Paul is dedicated to the sport and brings energy and professionalism to the post. He and I have worked together with National teams for the past 5 years and he is a superb coach with a great work ethic.

When did you start being involved in water polo at a junior level, and how did you get into the sport?
Brad Rowe: I played from grade 8 at Westville Boys High and when playing 1st team in matric I began my coaching career with the u15A team.

I realized that I had a natural gift for coaching and moved into coaching polo and hockey

What are your earliest memories of being a water polo player and do you think you were a better coach or a better player?
Brad Rowe:  I enjoyed playing polo but not exclusively and played many other sports at school and later at club level. I realized that I had a natural gift for coaching and moved into coaching polo and hockey about 4 years after leaving school and the record will show that I am a much better coach than player.

The sport at national level is unfortunately for the wealthy as there is very little funding, but we continue to make our country proud on the world stage.

What changes have you seen in the sport from now and back in your youth days?
Brad Rowe: The training is much more intense and for 11 months of the year. Top players do not play another sport at top level and dedicate their lives to training. There are so many more tournaments around the country and with re-admittance into international sport we have many National age group internationals available to our players. The sport at national level is unfortunately for the wealthy as there is very little funding, but we continue to make our country proud on the world stage.

What’s the general mood of the boys and staff as you depart?
Brad Rowe: I think you tend to miss any old piece of furniture you have become accustomed to but not for long. The boys who are in my team are very close to me due to the long hours we spend together but they are disciplined and will accept and dedicate themselves to Paul in no time at all.

The entire journey has been a highlight. I started at the school when it had no swimming pool and no grade 10's. Five years later we were unbeaten in the country and have been the no 1 ranked team two more times

What has been your highlight of your career at Clifton as a Coach?
Brad Rowe: The entire journey has been a highlight. I started at the school when it had no swimming pool and no grade 10's. Five years later we were unbeaten in the country and have been the no 1 ranked team two more times. Coaching and creating a programme at Clifton has been a highlight of my career.

Why did you decide to leave Clifton for Westville?
Brad Rowe: I believed that I needed a career change from coaching at a school to management at a school. Westville have allowed me to create a career path outside of coaching which I believed I needed at this stage of my career in education.

HSSM thanks Brad Rowe for his time and wish him all the best for the near future!

Photo courtesy of Janet Downes

Comments

Submitted by Jessica Appelgryn (not verified) on

We are certainly going to miss you Brad and our boys even more so. Wishing you every success in your new venture. You have been a great influence to the Appelgryn boys.
We will certainly see each other around the pool.

Submitted by Denyse Rowe (not verified) on

We are also very proud parents. Brad congratulations on being a very dedicated and professional coach. Unfortunately we havent been as involved with your teams as we were with you but its been a job very well done and we wish you even more success in your new post.
With love and every good wish from Mom and Dad

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