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Rowing in Australia Forums Wrap Up and Next Steps

The 2018 Rowing Australia (RA) State Visits concluded last week in Launceston.

Over the past four weeks, the RA Executive Team and Directors have been connecting on the ground with the local rowing community in each State and presenting the 2018 Rowing in Australia Forum. These visits will become an annual initiative to increase engagement with our vibrant and passionate rowing community.

RA CEO, Ian Robson said, “We are very grateful to everyone that generously gave up their time to join us for these important discussions. Your contributions and feedback are integral to helping us engage with you in a better way moving forward, to ultimately work together and grow rowing in Australia. You – the volunteers, coaches, athletes, parents and many others who attended our forums are the fabric of our sport.”

“For us this activity was about having a discussion together on the challenges and opportunities we face as a sport at the community level and identifying common themes across the country where RA may be able to support.”

RA worked with our Member Associations to build a tailored itinerary in each State that enabled us to deliver the Forum, but also have deeper local engagement with different stakeholders.  We are very keen to improve on this each year to reach as many of you as possible, this year was a starting point.  RA encourages any members of the rowing community that have suggestions on more ways we can engage next year, please send them through to your State Association.   One area we are keen to expand on in 2019 is engagement with the regional rowing community.

We kicked off in Adelaide on the 16 May with a breakfast at Adelaide Rowing Club enjoying some early morning coffee and informal chats with Club Presidents and School Rowing Directors. After an informal lunch with the Rowing South Australia Board, we rounded off our visit with the Rowing in Australia Forum hosted by Torrens Rowing Club that evening.

Our next stop was Melbourne, again starting the day off with a breakfast on South Bank with Metro Club Presidents. A full itinerary of School visits followed with the group travelling from Brighton to Hawthorn and catching up with as many school rowing, masters and coaches as the day would permit. Melbourne University Boat Club played host for the evening forum with a crowd of over 40 attending and sharing their thoughts with us.

An early start in Queensland began as we joined Griffith University Surfers Paradise Rowing Club members and some of our Junior Australian Rowing Team on the Nerang River, this visit provided a fantastic opportunity to watch some great crews and athletes. This was followed by a quick trip back up the highway to visit Toowong Rowing Club and the QAS before heading to the Forum that evening hosted at Sommerville House Water Sports Facility.

Our visit to Sydney commenced with a High Performance Club President and Coaches lunch at the impressive recently opened Sydney University Boat Club facility at Lane Cove. This was followed by a lively discussion at the Forum hosted at Sydney Rowing Club where we live-streamed the session for those from across the country to view.

Over on the West Coast, we enjoyed a fabulous early morning sunrise on the Swan River, with CEO Ian Robson and Performance Director Bernard Savage taking up the opportunity to go out on the water with members of the University of Western Australia Boat Club. The duo then followed this up with a Club Presidents’ Breakfast at the West Australian Rowing Club. Rowing WA generously hosted the Forum in the evening at their offices overlooking Canning Bridge, with RA President, Rob Scott, joining Ian and Bernard for the presentations and discussions with the Rowing WA Board.

In the Nation’s Capital, we were treated to a tour of the fantastic new Capital Lakes Rowing Club. Afterwards we gathered for a Club Presidents and ACT Board lunch, which was followed later that evening with the ACT’s forum, which we had the honour to host at Rowing Australia House.

Finally, we headed to Tasmania to conclude our remaining two Forums. In Hobart, we got underway with a Club Presidents’ lunch followed by a tour of Buckingham Rowing Club and then the first Tasmanian Forum was hosted at New Town Bay Rowing Centre.

Our final destination was Launceston, beginning with a trip to the inspiring New Norfolk Rowing Club and afterwards enjoying a Club Presidents’ lunch meeting at the northern tip of the island. The Forum was well attended and kindly hosted at North Esk Rowing Club.

“We are currently working through the key themes that have been raised and will communicate these, along with the priority action areas, once finalised. We appreciate all the feedback received so far, it has been a great experience to engage with so many passionate people and we look forward to growing the sport of rowing with you”, said Ian Robson.

To access the presentation that was spoken to at the Forum’s please click here. If you are a Club or School and would like access to the Excellence through Rowing video, please contact Katherine Ginbey on [email protected].

A huge thank you to the Clubs and State Associations that helped us to organise these Forums and to ensure each visit was an enjoyable experience for all.

Thank you to…

  • Adelaide Rowing Club
  • Torrens Rowing Club
  • Melbourne Grammar School
  • Scotch College
  • Methodist Ladies’ College
  • Brighton Grammar School
  • Loreto Toorak
  • Melbourne University Boat Club
  • Griffith University Surfers Paradise Rowing Club
  • Toowong Rowing Club
  • Queensland Academy of Sport
  • Sommerville/River City Women’s Rowing Club
  • Sydney University Boat Club
  • Sydney Rowing Club
  • University of Western Australia Boat Club
  • West Australian Rowing Club
  • Capital Lakes Rowing Club
  • Buckingham Rowing Club
  • New Norfolk Rowing Club
  • North Esk Rowing Club
  • Rowing South Australia
  • Rowing Victoria
  • Rowing Queensland
  • Rowing New South Wales
  • Rowing Western Australia
  • Rowing Australian Capital Territory
  • Rowing Tasmania