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Rowing AustraliaApr 19, 2024 2:23:04 PM2 min read

Celebratory Send-Off for Women's Rowing Team on the Nepean

Athletes from the Women’s National Training Centre (WNTC) and members of the Australian Paddle team were treated to a night on the Nepean River as the local community gave then a memorable farewell aboard the River Boat Bar before the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

This event was a heartfelt display of community support that celebrated the athletes’ hard work and dedication as they prepare for Paris.  

The scenic Nepean River provided a perfect backdrop as the River Boat Bar, owned by Chris and Carol Bennett, hosted the WNTC and Aus Paddle athletes.  

“I see this group train most days. So, what’s special? That’s the motivation behind tonight... these guys,” Chris Bennett said.  

John Keogh, the WNTC Head Coach, and Tom Westgarth, the WNTC Senior Coach, shared their thoughts on the significance of community support and the impact it has on the team’s morale and performance.  

“Since the WNTC was built eight years ago we’ve had some pretty incredible results. We’ve quadrupled the number of international medals won since the Rio Olympic cycle, which is phenomenal,” Keogh said.  

“That’s purely from hard work and dedication from the athletes, and the support of everybody that’s onboard and a lot of people that aren’t here as well.” 

Members of the WNTC expressed their gratitude for the support received from the local community and the motivation it provided as they headed to the global stage.  

“Firstly, I wanted to say thank you to the beautiful landlords… having that support at home after a hard day makes all the difference. You really are special to us and have made this journey much more amazing,” Georgie Rowe, from the Women’s Eight, said. 

“Thank you very much, and we look forward to making you all really proud over in Paris.” 

The event was not only a send-off but also a celebration of the strong bonds between the athletes and the local community. The special evening highlighted the community’s pride and support for their national athletes, setting a positive tone as they approach the Olympic challenges ahead.  

“Gratitude is one of the first values we instilled eight years ago. You’re all here tonight because we genuinely couldn’t do what we do without you. We certainly couldn’t get the results that we have, and we certainly wouldn’t have the same experience. So, thank you,” Westgarth said.