By Brad Jansen
Pics by Sean William Messham
While sitting comfortably in a chair, holding a steaming cup of tea, she looks up and says, “I do rowing for the whole team-thing, the whole friends-thing. That is why I hate sculling… got no one to share it with”.
Micheen Thornycroft or ‘Mouse’, as she is often called, is one of the rowers that make up the women’s A crew for Rhodes and together with the team they have had phenomenal achievements. The A crew is now the best varsity women’s crew in South Africa.
Thornycroft started rowing in Zimbabwe in one of her family’s boats and quickly became accustomed to the sport. After rowing competitively for two years after school, her rowing career took off and soon she was on her way to the All Africa Games. She was entered into the Sculls and Doubles races and subsequently secured bronze medals in both events.
In 2006, after her A levels were completed, she ventured down to Rhodes University to pursue a BSc degree. Naturally, she joined rowing at Rhodes and her talent moved her straight into the A crew. In that same year, Thornycroft and her sister, Rose Thornycroft, were selected to participate in the World Championships, representing Zimbabwe. Following her successful year, she captained the A crew, leading them to a Boat Race victory. She also picked up five medals at the most recent SASSU sprints during the March vacation and made Blues crew for the third time since 2006.
All of her achievements can surely be accredited to the amount of dedication and time she puts into the sport. Training every weekday as well as twice on weekends, she gives up a lot of free time. On top of all her rowing commitments, she also gives back by coaching at St. Andrews DSG.
To Mouse, winning is not everything, she must enjoy the race and step out feeling like everything went well before she is satisfied. She is always ready to put a smile on someone’s face and is an exceptional talent with a personality that should take her far into a successful future.