And the winner is ...
James Cook, British rower and London university student is the winner of the first Parmigiani Spirit Award.
The 21 year old mechanical engineering student, in his final year at University College London (UCL), is the men’s captain of the University of London Boat Club (ULBC). On the water, he was a member of the Great Britain eight that won silver at the 2013 Universiade in Kazan, Russia.
The Parmigiani Spirit Award was open to university rowers worldwide who demonstrated the core values of rowing in his/her social, academic and sporting life and, through those values, also enabled or inspired exceptional success in other people’s lives – for example in education, business, sports or charity. Rowing’s core values are: Teamwork, Fairness, Natural, Inclusive and Enduring.
In addition to dedicating many hours to coaching work with young rowers at ULBC while training himself for the international level, Cook has also organised a number of charity events. In 2011, he rowed 1000 m down the Zambesi River as part of the Row Zambesi Expedition which raised over $40,000 for Village Water, a charity that helps small communities in Africa to develop the infrastructure to provide clean, fresh water supplies for their homes.
During the expedition, Cook taught Zambian students from the University of Lusaka how to row and is now working towards creating a sculling camp on Lake Kariba in the summer of 2014.
“James Cook is an outstanding role model to all university students and for our sport,” said FISA President Denis Oswald. “He is a successful rower, a leader and a magnificent team-player who has given so much to charity and to others. He is an inspiration to all and a worthy winner of the first Parmigiani Spirit Award.”
Cook will receive a hand-crafted Parmigiani Fleurier watch at the presentation ceremony in London on 31 October. His club, ULBC, will be presented with a custom-built top-of-the-range Filippi eight racing shell to be named “Parmigiani Spirit 2013”.a