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Rowing Australia and Athletes Grateful for the Long-Standing and Game-Changing Support of Mrs Rinehart AO and Hancock Prospecting

The support that Hancock Prospecting and Mrs Rinehart AO provides to Rowing Australia (RA) and most importantly its athletes, dating back to 2015, has been a game changer for our sport. RA is proud that it provides equitable athlete support across its programs.   

Post the Rio 2016 Games this support truly transformed the RA High Performance Program (HPP) by providing direct support to the athletes enabling them to focus on their demanding daily training schedules. Prior to 2016, athletes were needing to juggle jobs to be able to afford to chase their dreams, a concern they no longer need to have thanks to the direct financial support provided by Mrs Rinehart AO and Hancock Prospecting.   

This support also enabled the establishment of the Hancock Prospecting National Women’s Training Centre at Penrith where the RA’s Women’s HPP is based, a world-class facility that has created World Champions, Olympians and Olympic Champions.  

One of these Olympic Champions is Rosemary Popa OAM who on announcing her retirement this year, spoke of Mrs Rinehart’s support on her career:  

 “To be able to step away as an Olympic Champion is a dream come true. I am now focusing my energy and efforts into my corporate career and hope to use my platform as a Gold Medallist to inspire and empower others.   

Popa continued: “From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank you [Mrs Rinehart AO] for everything you have done not only in the sport of rowing, but for female athletes and leaders. I attribute much of my success from the opportunities you provide and can confidently say it would not been possible without your generosity and ongoing support.”  

Olympic Silver and Bronze Medallist, Cameron Girdlestone shared his gratitude: “I have been grateful for the amount of support I have received from so many amazing people throughout my career, including the support from Mrs Rinehart AO and Hancock Prospecting.  

Girdlestone added: “Mrs Rinehart’s support allowed me to give up my job and move my wife and I to Canberra to become a full-time athlete. Last year crossing the line at the Tokyo Olympic Games and winning a Bronze Medal with my crewmates was a dream come true. This would not have been possible without Mrs Rinehart AO and Hancock Prospecting’s support to achieve my dreams.” 

The funding support of Hancock Prospecting and Mrs Rinehart AO, coupled with the investment of the AIS, under-pinned the extraordinary Covid impacted five-year cycle to the Tokyo Games which saw the Australian Rowing Team secure two Gold Medals, one Silver Medal and two Bronze Medals.  

Over and above the funding commitment, Mrs Rinehart AO has been a very active Patron of RA by providing support to the Australian Rowing Team at Regattas across Europe and the world, in addition to the presentation of Awards at the annual Rower of the Year dinner.  

 We look forward to continuing our partnership with Hancock Prospecting and Mrs Rinehart AO, as our patron through to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond. 

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