Row to better health

Nilani Tari, of the Medi-Rowers Team from VCH signs the Corporate Regatta Entry Form

A team of young health professionals from Vila Central Hospital is putting talk into action by entering a team in the Vanuatu Rowing Club’s May Corporate Regatta.

“We had seen the rowers on the Second Lagoon and thought it looked like fun,” explained Nilani Tari. “I actually came along to a couple of the Club’s free Learn to Row sessions but then got so busy with work. I was telling some of my workmates if we entered the Rowing Regatta, it would be a commitment that would make us find the time to train and exercise – and the hours at the Club are really good for us on shift work.”

All of us with busy careers, suddenly emerging work priorities and long work hours know the story of trying to find time to exercise and those gym memberships you pay for – then work gets in the way and the investment in the membership fee is underutilised.

The Rowing Club’s hours really fit into these work demands. The Club opens at 5am and these early morning is a very busy time at the Club with people arriving to row, get off the water by just after 6am, shower and change in the Club’s ablution block and then go to work – exercise over for the day, endomorphs surging through the bloodstream and brain alert and active from the exercise. “Endomorphs” are “feel good” compounds released after exercise and significantly contribute to lower blood sugar, lower stress levels, diminution of high blood pressure and of course leading to weight loss.

The Club closes through the heat of the day but can be opened if training teams want to row at lunch. The shed opens again around 3pm for school students and then gets very busy from 4.30pm as people arrive after work. It’s light ‘til around 6.45 so there’s plenty of time for cross training in the gym and a row.

So Nilani and her fellow health workers have put together a team of four rowers ready for the May Races. They meet in the Club’s gym or take a quad (a boat for four rowers) out on the water either before or after work as their shifts at Vila Central Hospital allow. Each Regatta team is allocated training times and a coach. The Club has 20 qualified Ni-Vanuatu coaches who have been through Australian Institute of Sport training. Some of the elite rowers like Luigi Teilemb who represented Vanuatu in Rio Olympic Games, stops by to give some hints and advice.

Dr Jim Obed of the “Medi-Rowers” team remarked, “It’s just so good to get out on the water, or work out in the gym. We’re putting into action what we tell our patients. After all, exercise is the road to improved good health.”

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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