I write this update as the domestic rowing season kicks off around the country with most of our clubs starting to prepare and race at local regattas.   Happy spring rowing to all! We hope your season journey ends at the 2018 Aon Sydney International Rowing Regatta as we’ve enhanced our club and school program for this event, to make it more relevant to you, the foundation of our sport, so stay tuned to RA channels to find out details.

As we kick off domestically, the recent conclusion of the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota Florida signals the end of the international competitive season.  We’ve had a pleasing year across our teams including three gold, two silver and one bronze for the Senior Team, one gold and two silver for the Under 23 team and one gold for our Juniors.

In the first year of the quadrennial and implementation of our new high performance system our focus primarily has been to lay the foundations of a solid performance culture across our centres and pathway programs that will set us up for success in the long term.  Results are always at the forefront, but these important cultural building blocks are the most critical in these start up years of the new system.   The importance of consistent behaviour and attitude in training and competition has been particularly critical with such a young senior team and will remain at the heart of our performance philosophy.   We fundamentally believe a longer term view that is grounded in a strong culture, will lead to sustainable performances.

That being said, performances across our teams this year have been above expectations in this first performance marker of the quadrennial. On behalf of the Rowing Australia Board I congratulate all crews, our Head Coaches and senior coaches in the NTCs, the SIS/SAS and club coaches for the underage teams, State Association and Club rowing partners, RA staff and the broader rowing community for committing to our new NTC environments, state pathway programs and this bold journey we are on together.

Our Chief Executive Officer Michael Scott who has been with us for the start of this journey, will be leaving the organisation with his last day on 1 December.    Michael leaves rowing in good shape after leading, along with the RA Board, significant change across the sport.  It is an exciting time as we recruit for a new Chief Executive Officer who will now consolidate and build on this change and continue to drive our great sport forward.  On behalf of the Australian Rowing Team, staff and board I would like to wish Michael all the best.

On the theme of looking forward we will be celebrating a significant milestone on Saturday 28 October. Our patron Mrs Gina Rinehart and Stuart Ayres NSW Minister of Sport will officially open the new Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre.  Our 2018 intake of women into the National Training Centres will train out of this state of the art purpose built facility following the testing camp later this month.   Thank you to our partners Hancock Prospecting, the Government of NSW via NSWIS and the Office of Sport and Rowing NSW for their contribution has made this important facility possible.    We are all incredibly proud of what has been achieved here in a very short amount of time and thrilled with the environment this creates for our women (and men and Paralympian’s who will also use the facility from time to time).

The same weekend as the opening we will celebrate the year’s achievements at the Hancock Prospecting 2017 Rower of the Year Awards.  We are announcing some new awards this year to line up with the some of the organisation’s new or enhanced focus areas including; recognising our outstanding Pathway athletes and coaches and key contributors in the Participation area across the country.  Tickets are available so please join us as we recognise the immense efforts of the rowing community this year.

Our National Council Meeting will be held on Sunday 29 October following the Awards where the RA Board and Executive come together with each of the State Councillors and CEOs to discuss all things rowing.  We look forward to sharing the key outcomes of this with you.  These meetings happen every 6 months so we encourage you to get in touch with your State Council member should you want further information, or whether there are particular matters you want them to pass to us as your State representative.

Finally, we’ve got 22 indoor rowing centres signed up for the second year of the Australian Indoor Rowing Championships in November.  So, get on your ergo and start training!

Kind regards,

Rob Scott
President and Chairman, Rowing Australia

The President’s Message is presented by AJ Travel