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The Maadi Cup is the prize for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Boys' Under 18 Rowing Eights. More colloquially, it is the name given to the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing Regatta, at which the Maadi Cup is raced. The regatta is the largest school sports event in the Southern Hemisphere and is held alternatively at Lake Karapiro in the Waikato region, and Lake Ruataniwha, near Twizel.
The top prizes at the regatta are the Maadi Cup, Springbok Shield, Levin Jubilee Cup, Dawn Cup and Star Trophy
During World War II, members of the 2nd NZEF based at Maadi Camp in Egypt competed in regattas on the Nile against local Egyptian rowing clubs. At a regatta held on 20 November 1943 the Maadi Camp Rowing Club "Kiwi" oarsmen beat the Cairo River Club by 11 points to six to win the Freyberg Cup, which they then gifted to the competitors. In return, as a token of friendship, Youssef Baghat presented the Kiwis with a cup. Youssef Baghat's cup was offered to the NZARA (now NZRA) as a trophy for an annual boys' eight-oared race between secondary schools and was brought to New Zealand at the end of the war.
Renamed the Maadi Cup it was first raced for in 1947 at Wanganui where it was won by Mt Albert Grammar School, who beat Sacred Heart College by a half-length. The Maadi Cup gained its native timber pyramid shaped base from Mt Albert Grammar's woodwork master and first rowing coach, Jack Jenkin, in 1951.
Only 14 schools have ever won the cup, with Wanganui Collegiate School the most successful, having won it 17 times.
Members for the 2nd NZEF competed in rowing regattas and won races run by the Cairo River Club until they were shipped back to New Zealand at the end of the War.
Schools that have won the Maadi Cup:
- 1:Wanganui Collegiate School (17)
- 2:Christ's College (10)
- 3:Hamilton Boys' High School (8)
- 3:Mount Albert Grammar School (8)
- 5:Tauranga Boys' College (6)
- 6:Westlake Boys High School (3)
- 7:Auckland Grammar School (2)
- 7:St Paul's Collegiate School (2)
- 7:Wanganui Technical College (2)
- 10:Fraser High School (1)
- 10:King's College (1)
- 10:New Plymouth Boys' High School (1)
- 10:Sacred Heart College (1)
- 10:St Bede's College (1)
- 10:Wanganui High School (1)
The Springbok Shield is the prize for the boys' under 18 coxed fours. It was instigated in 1964 by Mr Cecil Purvis who was visiting South Africa at the time and met with members of the Johannesburg youth rowing community. After much discussion the Springbok Shield eventuated. The Shield is made from segments of all the woods from South Africa and was first rowed for in 1965 when it was won by Hamilton Boys' High School.
The Star Trophy is the prize awarded to the top overall school at the Regatta. It has therefore come to denote the top rowing school in New Zealand.
Levin 75th Jubilee Cup
The Levin Cup is awarded to the winner of the girls' under 18 eight. In 1981 the Maadi Regatta was held on Lake Horowhenua. That year the Levin Borough Council was holding its 75th Jubilee. The mayor, Jack Bolderson, decided that a fitting memorial would be for a cup for the girls senior eight. The inaugural winner was Wanganui Girls College.
-  - Official Maadi Cup regatta website.
-  - Website of the New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Association.