By Emily Goddard

Mahé Drysdale 080513April 25 - Olympic champion Mahé Drysdale has been named on the international judging panel for the first International Rowing Federation (FISA) Parmigiani Spirit Award.

The London 2012 single sculls gold medallist and five-time world champion from New Zealand (pictured top) will join FISA President Denis Oswald and Parmigiani Fleurier chief executive Jean-Marc Jacot as they choose the inaugural winner of the title which recognises a university rower who has achieved exceptional successes in different areas of their life.

"It's great to be involved in such a fantastic opportunity for university rowing clubs," said Drysdale, who also won Olympic bronze at Beijing 2008.

"I took up rowing at the University of Auckland so I know from personal experience how important university rowing is to the sport.

"This is a great chance to acknowledge a student rower and for a university rowing club to win a new eight."

Parmigiani SPIRIT logo lowresThe Parmigiani Spirit Award will be given to a university rower who has demonstrated the core values of rowing in his or her social, academic and sporting life

The award is open to current university students worldwide who study full time and row regularly for a university rowing club.

The winner will receive a handcrafted Parmigiani Fleurier watch and the winner's club will be presented with a new racing eight boat.

"Mahé was introduced to rowing by his university club," Oswald added.

"Throughout his career he has been a magnificent ambassador for the core values of rowing.

"He is the ideal judge for the Parmigiani Spirit Award."

University rowers have until June 30 to submit nominations here.

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