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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Scullers unleash the power

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Rowers power through the water during the Sydney Catholic Schools Rowing Mini-Regatta. Photo: Supplied
Rowers power through the water during the Sydney Catholic Schools Rowing Mini-Regatta. Photo: Supplied

By Tasmyn Haynes

No room for prima donnas: students learn that when it comes to rowing everyone has to be in sync – all the time and no matter what

On a picturesque Sunday morning students from a variety of Catholic schools gathered at the St George Rowing Club to row their boats – but not gently down the stream.

Instead, spectators were treated to lighting speed, phenomenal displays of power, and races too close to call at the Sydney Catholic Schools’ (SCS) Rowing Mini-Regatta.

In the leadup to the Regatta, students were offered a new opportunity to learn and develop their skills in the sport through a five-week Rowing Foundation Program.

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Participants became early risers, athletes, teammates – and members of the St George Rowing Club.

The partnership between the club and SCS has opened up possibilities for students like Robert Ollivier from De La Salle College Caringbah who wants to continue his pursuit of the sport.

“My Dad rowed in high school and he was competitive, so when this [opportunity] came out, my best mate and I wanted to do it,” said the Year 10 student.

“I’ve been enjoying it the whole time – so who knows where I’ll land in the future?

“These kids could join in with my rowing group at the club right now … That’s how we’ve done the program, so when they finish they have the membership and the option to continue afterwards”

“But I want to represent my school and row with the club.”

The route Robert wants to take is also the one encouraged by the Director and Vice Captain of St George Rowing Club, Mark Featherstone.

“These kids could join in with my rowing group at the club right now,” he said.

“That’s how we’ve done the program, so when they finish they have the membership and the option to continue afterwards.”

With the first Rowing Foundation Program voted a success, SCS is offering two more identical sessions open to new participants, including those who may have missed out on the initial program due to its popularity.

The Regatta gave athletes the chance to showcase what they’d learnt over the five weeks through a number of races.

Supporters lined the dock to watch, with sausage sizzle in hand and music in the background creating the perfect rowing festival atmosphere.

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