A major review of Rowing Australia’s high performance and pathway program was conducted following the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. This review included an extensive consultation process across various stakeholder groups, a detailed analysis of past performances and a scoping of international best practice. As a result of the review, RA’s long term high performance plan ‘CampaignNumberOne’ was developed and introduced transformational change to the high performance model to provide Australian rowers with the best opportunity for success. One such change was the development of bespoke state-based pathway programs, working with schools, clubs and states to enhance the development of young athletes.
These programs have a clear goal of developing young athletes capable of transitioning into the national training centres and assisting RA achieve its aim of being the ‘number one rowing nation in the world’. In addition, these programs capitalise and expand on the prior work of the High Performance Development Program with a broader focus that includes traditional pathway development incorporating talent identification, a greater focus on National Team retention and outcomes, and the US-Based Australian Program.
The state-based pathway programs are led by our SIS/SAS and SSO partners and will benefit from national leadership and coordination from Rowing Australia. Pathway programs must be capable of producing more podium potential athletes than they do today. The support and engagement of all stakeholders, including clubs and schools, will be critical to our future success.
The Deputy Performance Director oversees this program, working alongside the Pathways Head Coach. The Head Coaches of the State Institutes and State Academies of Sport are listed below.
The ACT Pathway program is designed specifically to encourage more young rowers to continue in the sport after school through to Club, State and National level.
Rowing ACT, in conjunction with ACTAS have introduced three-weekly Pathway Squad mini camps open to all school age rowers, with the aim of developing future National Team members.
The squads will be given elite technical coaching in sweep rowing and sculling on and off the water, testing and training programs, and Nutrition, Sports Science and Strength and Conditioning advice.
In addition to the Pathway Program, Rowing ACT has reintroduced the very successful Talent ID (TID) Program which has developed many Canberra athletes into World and Olympic Champions.
The program will be overseen by the ACTAS Head Coach, who in addition to Olympic coaching has had previous experience running a very successful TID program.
Interested young boys and girls are welcome to contact the Rowing ACT/ACTAS personnel for advice on testing and trialling.
Program Manager: Lizzi Chapman
Queensland Academy of Sport and Rowing Queensland join with Queensland clubs and schools to run the rowing pathway in Queensland.
The aim of the Queensland pathway system is to be a major contributor to the Underage National Team, by supporting and developing athletes onto National Underage Teams to compete at- U23 World Championships, U21 Trans-Tasman regatta, Junior World Championships and World University Games. Targeted athletes and coaches within the pathway system are provided with elite training facilities, science, health and technical support both on and off the water. As athletes progress through the QLD Pathway, they will be sufficiently prepared to be ready to transition to a National Training Centre.
The Queensland Pathway program also aims to provide different access points to rowing through both rowing and non-rowing schools, clubs and Talent Identification.
The Queensland pathway program has several people leading and supporting it.
QLD High Performance Manager
Queensland Academy of Sport Head Coach
Sports Science QAS
Manager of Sport
QAS S & C Coach
QAS Sports Psychologist
QAS Personal Excellence
In 2016 six SASI athletes were selected in the Australian Olympic Rowing Team. James McRae and Sasha Belonogoff (both Silver – M4x); Alexander Hill (Silver – M4-); Sally Kehoe (W2x); Olympia Aldersey and Molly Goodman (W8+).
Currently SASI provides a world class underage scholarship program led by SASI Head Coach Jason Lane.
The SA State Pathway Program, a joint program between Rowing SA, SASI, and South Australian rowing clubs, provides a clear pathway structure for the development of athletes towards SASI High Performance Scholarships and ultimately the National Training Centres.
The Talent Pathway Program is led by Christine Maclaren, SASI Talent Pathway Coordinator. A range of program and initiatives are structured to provide quality underpinning programs, to support emerging, existing, talented rowers and to identify raw talent from non-rowing backgrounds.
The Talent Pathway Program covers a variety of different programs – the SASI High Performance Scholarship, the SASI Associate Scholarship, the Junior Target Squad, the Pathway Eights and row4gold. A table of the programs and who to contact can be found here.
The new Pathway program is designed to provide opportunities for talented Tasmanian athletes to develop along the sport pathway with the aim to progress to International level.
Delivered in partnership between the TIS, RT and RA, the program will see sufficient coaching and Development Officer resources spread across the state to manage talent identification activities and deliver athlete development services.
The program will provide identified athletes with access to high performance services appropriate to their level as well as access to equipment and competition support.
The program is designed to operate out of three primary locations utilising the TIS’ New Town Bay Rowing Centre facility in the south of Tasmania and both the North Esk and Tamar Rowing clubs in the north of the state. Athletes in the north west will be serviced by the Northern based coach, out of Mersey and Ulverstone Rowing Clubs. Off-water training facilities will be provided by the TIS in Hobart and Launceston, and contracted providers in the north west.
The Victorian Pathway Program is operated collaboratively through the Victorian Institute of Sport, Rowing Victoria and two Melbourne-based clubs, Mercantile Rowing Club and Melbourne University Boat Club. This partnership delivers the Victorian development pathway and provides support to athletes at the lower levels in the RA performance pathway. The Victorian Pathway Program aims to provide world class coaching opportunities, training and competition facilities and support services to improve athlete development throughout the national high performance pathway.
Head Coach: Bill Tait
The WAIS Rowing Program operates a daily training environment (DTE) for male and female rowers along with managing the talent pathway for rowing in WA. Key components of the talent pathway include identifying and managing school age athletes who demonstrate rowing talent and developing the capability and capacity and of our rowing HP club network.
The focus of the DTE in the WAIS Rowing Program is based on developing athletes with the capability to represent Australia at benchmark events – as defined by Australia’s Winning Edge (AWE), both now and in the future. Scholarships are offered based on these assessments, with program athletes given support through access to; coaching, sport science services, sport medicine and personal excellence. This support is structured through a dedicated WAIS Performance Enhancement Team (PET), with all members of the PET working together to collaboratively enhance performance of WAIS program athletes.
The WAIS Rowing Program is partnered through a strategic alignment with Rowing Australia and Rowing Western Australia.
Head Coach: Rhett Ayliffe
Rowing Coach: Jamie Hewlett
For more information on the Talent Pathway, please contact your relevant State Talent Pathway Coordinator, details of whom can be found here.