It was a fantastic night for all of the rowing community to come together and celebrate the successes from the 2022 season at the Hancock Prospecting Rower of the Year Awards held in Penrith, NSW on Friday 2 December 2022.
The coveted awards of the Female and Male Crew of the Year were won by 2022 World Championships Medallists with the Women’s Single Scull Bronze Medallist, Tara Rigney – the second female in Australian rowing history to win a World Championship medal – and the Men’s Coxless Four Silver Medal crew of Alex Purnell OAM, Jack Hargreaves OAM, Spencer Turrin OAM and Jack O’Brien.
Erik Horrie OAM was presented with the Para Athlete of the Year Award following his fourth-place finish at the 2022 World Championships. Horrie’s Coach Jason Baker OAM was also given recognition as Baker won the Para Coach of The Year award.
The Gina Rinehart AO Rowing Leadership Award was presented to Tokyo Olympic Champion, Annabelle McIntyre OAM. McIntyre is well regarded by her peers and the whole Australian Rowing Team. She is seen as an athlete with strong values and ethics, and as someone who is always looking for ways to improve and perform better at the highest level, both on and off the water.
2022 World Championships Men’s Double Scull Bronze Medallist, David Bartholot was awarded 776BC Rowers’ Rower of the Year – an award that was voted for by members of the 2022 Australian Rowing Team.
The Coach of The Year Award was presented to Ellen Randell. Randell was the Coach of three 2022 World Championships crews – Rigney in the Women’s Single Scull, the Women’s Lightweight Double Scull, and the Women’s Lightweight Single Scull.
The Hancock Prospecting Rower of The Year Awards also recognizes individuals for their tireless hard work behind the scenes. Based on his contribution to Rowing, former Board Member Patrick McNamara was awarded Rowing Australia Life Membership.
David Counsell from Queensland was presented with the Coles Volunteer of the Year award for his huge contribution to rowing in the remote area of Barcaldine.
Rowing Australia and World Rowing umpire, Nick Hunter OAM won Official of the Year for his dedication to all aspects of the sport – from coaching, regatta and race official, and international administrator.
ANA BC (Western Australia) was presented with the Club of the Year Award. The Club through their Learn to Row Course and connection with the local schools, has grown their membership this year significantly, the club has also transitioned many of its members to getting involved with the racing side of the sport.
The Pathways Coach of the Year, which recognizes the integral part the Pathways Program plays in developing the future talent of Australian rowing, went to two coaches – Mercantile RC’s Annabelle Eaton and UTS Haberfield BC’s Judith Ungemach.
Eaton’s Under 23 Women’s Coxed Four and Ungemach’s Under 19 Men’s Coxed Four both won Gold Medals at their respective World Championship regattas in July 2022.
Pathways Athlete of the Year was also presented to two winners – the Under 23 Women’s Coxed Four (Isabella Scammell, Samantha Morton, Emma Wilson, Emmie Frederico, and Nicholas Dunlop), and the Under 19 Men’s Coxed Four (Brandon Smith, Joe Lynch, Josh Wilson, Oliver St Pierre, and Ryder Taylor).
Rowing Australia CEO Ian Robson said: “We congratulate and thank all the athletes, coaches, administrators, and volunteers for all their hard work and passion. Particularly the families and friends and club communities who have supported unconditionally the dreams and aspirations of all of our Australian Rowing Team athletes. We would also like to thank the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) for their continuous support and knowledge sharing.”
Robson also added, “This last season has seen the rowing community coming back together on a more normal basis, post-covid and I look forward to seeing how our sport will continue to thrive not only over the next year but on the 10-year green and gold runway to Brisbane 2032.”
Rowing Australia President, Rob Scott also added, “I also want to reiterate that we continue to be grateful for the ongoing support of everyone in our sport that enables us to succeed. From our fantastic sponsors, which includes the vital support of Hancock Prospecting, to our selfless rowing community. Congratulations to all our award winners.”