Celebrating Rowing

Rowing Season 2020

As South Australia’s rowing season prematurely draws to a close, we take a moment to reflect on the plethora of positives that our team has experienced over the past 10 months.

There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”

– K. Grahame, Wind in the Willows

As those reading will no doubt be aware, the Pulteney Hosted Head of the River 2020 and the National Rowing Championships were recently cancelled for reasons apparent. With a budding team of young rowers from years 7 to 12 supported by a truly exceptional parent volunteer team, however, we have been able to enjoy the successes of our season in a variety of ways.

This year has seen a steady, encouraging growth in membership numbers in our Year 8 and 9 “junior” years of the team. Motivated by their unwavering ability to make light of any situation to keep themselves and their coaches entertained, our young boys and girls have tackled the challenges, embraced the opportunities and demonstrated their future potential throughout this year. Preforming promisingly at our regattas, we reflect on a group of young people who have the insight to think beyond their own remarkable achievements to demonstrate their care for their lasting impact on our sport and school. For their efforts we thank coaches Will Foster-Hall, Daisy Richards and Matt Nielsen in supporting our teams throughout the year.

Our seniors each have contributed to a priceless year of learning in a season of radical change to their training environment. Our Girls’ squad have earned all manner of praise for their work as the level of expectation, commitment and physical demand they faced was ramped up significantly to meet their enthusiastically led drive for raising the bar. New team members Poppy, Lily and Miesha bolstered senior squad numbers to allow the team to race in a modified format regatta on Monday morning in an VIII – staying with the pack in the competition.

Charlotte Casey, this year’s Rowing Captain, has worked especially hard to unite our team, inform our coaches’ decisions and support our proactive steps to nurture a team proud to build great people through sport, regardless of whether they are male or female! Supported by their coaches Britt Rundle and Mark Clemo, the girls have experienced both the caring and nurturing support to see them confident in their training, as well as the objectives and challenges to drive their standards ever higher.

Training as one team across the majority of our sessions, the boys’ crews in our senior squad have also benefited from a united approach. Faced with an intimidating array of changes to their rowing routine, a number of true leaders emerged to see us hurtle towards a professionalised approach to training and racing. Quickly the housekeeping and timeliness reminders fell away, to be replaced by a group of young people with flourishing personalities confident in the support of their peers. Our boys’ First IV was able to race on Monday, crewed by a group of committed young men who have demonstrated exemplary attitude throughout their season. Our Senior A and Development Quads, however, have sadly missed their opportunity to race in NSW at the National Championships after recently winning both the U19 and SB4X+ at State Champs. Reflecting on this in our season debrief, we shared that:

Nationals or no nationals, the true victory of this season was never going to be what happened over 6 and a half minutes on that lake in Penrith; it was always what you achieved before you even stepped on the plane. I know you will be hurt and frustrated but remember:

We may never see your race, but we will always know what you have done.

Whilst disappointed to fall so close to the final line; the team is credited with a truly remarkable year of work and experience that saw a near impeccable period of preparation. An inspiration to themselves and their coaches alike.

As our 2020 season draws to a close, a particular thanks goes to the exceptional Rowing Committee, formed of parent volunteers, who have gone above and beyond in their duties this year to support our students, coaches and Director of Rowing through the huge task of managing the Head of the River preparations.

We hope to return in preparation for 2021 with an even greater appreciation for the opportunities that we have through our sport!


Will Beedham

Director of Rowing