'Everyone still kicks ass' - ex-elite rowers band together to keep competition alive

Life after sport is one of the biggest challenges that any elite athlete faces at the end of their career, but the recently gathered Barbarians Rowing Club are out to combat that.

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The self-dubbed Barbarians have banded together for a good cause. Source: 1 NEWS

A place for former elite rowers to come together socially, the Barbarians are made up of entirely ex-New Zealand representatives, coming together to keep involved in the sport that they love.

"A lot of rowers don't have a plan b - it's everything or nothing so everything’s into plan A," foundation member Joe Trappitt told 1 NEWS.

"For me at least I was thinking what do I do now?"

Offering a kind of support group to each other, the Barbarians aim to help those struggling after elite retirement - although don't plan on training like they used to.

"What we've sort of developed, is a high intensity programme of four to three weeks of just sprints and a little bit of weights work," Trappitt continued.

"All that means is the first sort of 250m of the race, we'll be out in front, and that's all we care about."

More importantly though, the Barbarians' social purpose helps deal with those struggling after calling time on their careers.

"It's just great to share those stories, and open the conversation," fellow foundation member Ian Seymour says.

Ultimately though, the Barbarians hope to keep both their love for rowing, as well as their own competitive spirit alive and well.

"That attitude of 'all or nothing', that's quite funny to see when everyone gets together.

"It's still there, even though everyone's unfit and here for a good time, everyone still kicks ass and puts everything on the line."