World Rowing award former Australian Rowing Team Head Coach with top honour
World Rowing today announced that former Australian Rowing Team and AIS Head Rowing Coach, Reinhold Batschi, has been announced as the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Services to International Rowing Award.
Mr Batschi was short-listed for the prestigious award alongside five greats from the world of rowing, namely Ron Needs, Mike Spracklen, Annemarie Phelps – all from Great Britain, Magdalena Sarbochova from the Czech Republic and fellow Australian, John Boultbee.
Mr Batschi was completely taken aback with being announced as the winner saying, “I really didn’t expect to win this award, I was shocked that I was nominated and short-listed, especially when you see the calibre of the names I was short-listed alongside!
“It’ is a great honour to receive this award and I am truly humbled that World Rowing think that I am deserving of it. I love the sport of rowing, it was more than a job for me, it was my passion and while it was tough and difficult at times, I never thought it my wildest dreams I would end up with this award at the end of it all.”
Batschi came to Australia in the late-70s, from Germany, thanks to AOC President, John Coates, then the head of the Australian Amateur Rowing Council, and went on to hold roles with both Rowing Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport.
He was head coach of every Australian Olympic rowing section from 1980 to 2000 and in that time Australia won 16 Olympic rowing medals (four gold, five silver and seven bronze) while the highlight of his coaching career is no doubt when, in 1986, the Australian Men’s Eight won the World Rowing Championships.
In late 2015, Rowing Australia renamed its National Training Centre in Canberra the Reinhold Batschi National Training Centre, in honour of the facility that he helped to create in the early 1980s.
“It’s been a fantastic year for me, to have had the National Training Centre in Canberra named after me and now this, I would never have expected this when I first began rowing back in Romania in 1962, or when I moved to Australia in 1979 to begin my coaching roles,” added Mr Batschi.
Rowing Australia Chairman, Rob Scott, added: “On behalf of Rowing Australia and the whole Australian rowing community I would like to offer my hearty congratulations to Reinhold. We are all delighted that such a fitting award is to be bestowed upon him.
“It is only right that in becoming a recipient of this award that one of Australia’s most influential coaches joins some of the greatest names to contribute to international rowing.”
Mr Batschi is hoping to travel to Vancouver, Canada to receive his honour on 28 January 2017 at the gala dinner during the 2016 World Rowing Coaches Conference.