Bond of brothers

Olympic rower Alistair Bond (third from the left) is studying for his Master of Environmental Management with Massey, via distance.

Alistair Bond and his Olympic gold medalist brother Hamish share more than just a love of rowing. The siblings are also bonded by their connection with Massey University.

While Hamish graduated with a Bachelor of Business Studies in 2010, his younger brother Alistair is currently studying for his Master of Environmental Management with Massey, via distance.

The pair will both be in Rio for the Olympics – Hamish competing in the men’s coxless pairs, while Alistair will attend his first Olympics, in the lightweight men’s coxless fours – an historic occasion as it is the first time a New Zealand lightweight four have qualified in this event for the Olympic Games.

“I am sure as we get closer and closer to racing, nerves will become the main emotion, but at the moment, it is all starting to become more real and the excitement is building. And it is not just for me and my teammates, but also for friends and family who I am fortunate to have coming over for support,” the younger Bond says.

The 26-year-old, born in Dunedin, has been rowing since 2004, and says he would probably not have taken up the sport if it wasn’t for his brother. “Since I have made the New Zealand team, he has always demonstrated the work ethic required to be a top athlete in this sport. While I have no ambitions to match his successes, I always strive to match his dedication to whatever he does.”

And despite following in such famous footsteps, he says he doesn’t feel pressured to perform. “Hamish is obviously incredibly talented and he has been so successful, I imagine I would be incredibly dissatisfied with life if I was always compelled to achieve as he has done.”

He has high hopes for his first Olympics. “I hope our crew can perform to the level that I know we are capable of, and get from start to finish as fast as we can. If we do that, I believe we will be hard to beat.”

Bond says he finds study and training complement each other. “While we are overseas, there is always a lot of time to be filled, and I find studying is very effective for this. It gives me a sense of achievement each day that I would struggle to get if I was not studying, and it is always beneficial to have something else to occupy your mind outside of rowing. Massey does a great job of being flexible, and is very understanding of my sporting schedule.”

And despite the punishing training schedule, and fitting in study, he says the thought of letting down his teammates, is far worse than just letting himself down. “What is driving me to be better right now is my crewmates. I need to try to be at my best every day in order to get close to the standards that they set.”

Current or former Massey students and graduates make up 24 of the 36-strong rowing team heading to Rio.


Robbie Manson – men’s double sculls – Bachelor of Sport and Exercise student

Hamish Bond – men’s coxless pair – graduated 2010

Eric Murray – men’s coxless pair – former Massey student

James Hunter – lightweight men’s coxless fours – Bachelor of Business Studies student

Alistair Bond – lightweight men’s coxless fours – Master’s of Environmental Management student

Peter Taylor – lightweight men’s coxless fours – Post-graduate Sport Management student

James Lassche – lightweight men’s coxless fours – former Massey student

Stephen Jones – men’s eights – former Massey student

Alex Kennedy – men’s eights – former Massey student

Isaac Grainger – men’s eights – former Massey student

Nathan Flannery – men’s fours – Bachelor of Business Studies student

John Storey – men’s fours – former Massey student

Jade Uru – men’s fours – Graduate Diploma in Business student



Zoe Stevenson – women’s double sculls – former Massey student

Julia Edward – lightweight women’s double sculls – graduated 2016

Sophie Mackenzie – lighweight women’s double sculls – Diploma in Arts student

Rebecca Scown – women’s coxless pair/women’s eights – graduated 2010

Genevieve Behrent – women’s coxless pair/women’s eights – graduated 2016

Kerri Gowler – women’s eights – Bachelor of Science student

Grace Pendergast – women’s eights – Bachelor of Business Studies student

Ruby Tew – women’s eights – Bachelor of Business Studies student

Emma Dyke – women’s eights – Bachelor of Health Science student

Francie Turner – women’s eights – graduated 2014

Emma Twigg – Women’s single – former Massey student

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