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All together . . . The Oamaru Rowing Club is full of cheer ahead of tomorrow's fundraising ergathon. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Oamaru rowers are about to be pushed to the brink — physically and mentally.

Tomorrow, 45 rowers will take part in the Oamaru Rowing Club’s ergathon, raising money for the coming season and towards a new coxless double boat.

The rowers, aged 13 to 17, will row on rowing machines for 1152km — the distance from Oamaru to Lake Karapiro, in Waikato, where the Maadi Cup is held.

Coach and club captain Ivan Docherty said 10 rowing machines would be set up for rowers to complete 20-minute sessions, and rowers would be rotated every 90 minutes. Some coaches would also join in.

The metres rowed would be counted at each rest break, and individually the rowers had been raising money from sponsorship they had organised for themselves.

The massive trip, starting at 8am, was not going to be easy. Docherty said he expected it to test his athletes both mentally and physically, and it would not finish until about midnight.

‘‘It will teach them just that their mind is so much stronger than their body. It will be at times challenging physically on them but then they’ll find mentally they can overcome that,’’ Docherty said.

It was a great opportunity to raise money for the club but it would also bring the team members together as one and help them bond for the coming season.

‘‘It really moulds it into a tight unit for the season. That’s what I’ve seen in the past and that’s what I know will happen again this time.

‘‘As a coach, that’s the side win I get outside of raising the funds to enable us to build our assets.’’

The Oamaru Rowing Club would be filled with music and balloons to keep the energy up for the ergathon, and the community was encouraged to come along and support the rowers throughout the day, he said.

Docherty was incredibly grateful to the rowers organising their own sponsors and the generosity of local businesses to get behind the club and its athletes.