A passion for rowing saw University of Johannesburg Sports Events manager Niamh Faherty earn a nomination for the Rowing SA administrator of the year award last month.
Although Rowing SA development co-ordinator Virginia Mabaso ultimately received the award, Faherty said it was an honour just to be nominated.
“The rowing community is a very small one and there are so many amazing people in it who do amazing things,” said Faherty.
“I really want to pay tribute to the winner of the category because Virginia is a remarkable lady who does so much for the sport.
“There is nobody I would rather have lost to.”
Once her competitive rowing days at university were over, Faherty turned to the administration of the sport, while also becoming a national umpire.
Besides her role with University Sport South Africa, where she is the treasurer, Faherty plays a part in mentoring clubs.
“For example, I have taken University of KwaZulu-Natal under my wing to assist them to find funding, among other things. They are a small club who need some guidance.
“Obviously, UJ is my job and that is where my loyalty lies, so my rowing commitments are done outside of those commitments.
“My focus is to try to help, not only clubs like UKZN, but others where I can to assist in raising the level of rowing to the benefit of all universities.”
In her citation for the award, Faherty was described as someone who had shown exemplary dedication to university rowing for many years.
“This past year  Niamh not only excelled in her role on the USSA executive but also as an administrator for UJ, where she is the sports events manager for a number of sports,” it read.
“In addition to these commitments, Niamh played a crucial role in ensuring that the UKZN Rowing Club was well administered and had clear leadership in the build-up to and during the Universities Boat Race.
“It is important to note that this year  was the first year UKZN were able to field both a men’s and women’s eight at the Universities Boat Race.”