Nestles Rowing Club’s Aaron Skinner is set to hit a milestone later this month. The 24-year-old Victorian from Warrnambool is set to compete at his 10th Australian National Open Rowing Championships.
Aaron, who has autism, will compete in the Leg Trunk and Arms Men’s Single Scull for his club in the National titles and will make his debut for Victoria in the King’s and Queen’s Cup Interstate Regatta when he competes in the LTA Men’s Single in that event.
Competing at the 2016 Sydney International Rowing Regatta from 14-20 March in Penrith, NSW, Aaron will feature amongst Australia’s top para-rowers, including three-time World Champions Erik Horrie (ASM1x), Kathryn Ross and Gavin Bellis (TAMix2x).
Aaron’s mother, Serina, said of Aaron’s achievement of appearing in his 10th National titles, “We’re delighted that Aaron is competing at his 10th National Championships. The sport of rowing has made Aaron a more tolerant young man and it has improved his cognitive ability while also made him more accepting of other people and those of him.”
Aaron, who not only rows regularly out of Nestles but also swims regularly too, is an active member of his club where he is coached by Tom Betrand. Back in 2004, Betrand opened up Nestles RC to M-Power, a local disability association which runs a program called Active Oceans, and from there is where Aaron’s love of rowing began.
“Aaron loves rowing and really enjoys himself. He was recently made a Life Member of Nestles Rowing Club and just last weekend won the Victorian National State Championships in the LTA Men’s Single, and he’s looking forward to heading to Sydney in a few weeks with his State team-mates,’’ added Serina.
Describing what being part of the rowing community has meant for the Skinner family, Serina said: “Rowing has given us such a sense of community and support, we travel all over the State and country for rowing and swimming opportunities for Aaron and it’s wonderful.”
Summing up what kind of a rower Aaron is, Serina said: “Tom Betrand tells a story that when Aaron first joined Nestles RC he paid no attention to instructions on rowing, but when he got into the boat he did exactly what had been discussed even though he’d given the impression of not being engaged at all. Aaron, and other para-rowers like him, are not to be underestimated.”
Aaron and his fellow para-rowers will be competing at the 2016 Sydney International Rowing Regatta, to purchase tickets for the event, click here.