Saturday, 25 February 2023

RowingSA State Championship Regatta

It is Rod’s and my great pleasure to join you at the 2023 South Australian Rowing Championships, and for the first time in an official capacity.

I am delighted to be patron of Rowing South Australia, and I have fond memories of my rowing years, including many hours of training and racing here at West Lakes.

Sport has always been an important part of my life, through participation in, or attendance at, sporting events.

I know what it feels like to go from rank beginner in a tub four to training and racing in pairs and winning a light-weight women’s coxed four state championship. I also know how much training and commitment (and some pain) it takes to go from being a novice to competing at the nationals.

I am honoured to be presenting today a new perpetual trophy for the Open Women’s Pairs events.

Although our lives took us in different directions after university, I was delighted to see my AUBC pairs partner, Frances Ward, take out a pairs title at the Australian Masters’ Championships in 2021.

Rowing taught me many valuable life skills such as persistence, determination and how to build capability.

Most of all it taught me the power of teamwork, how to collaborate and build relationships.

And some important lessons in leadership, but perhaps that’s for another day.

But you know all this. It’s why you do it too.

I was fortunate to train and race with wonderful crews in Adelaide, Canberra and Hong Kong and made lifelong friends.

As a young person, rowing gave me so much, and I’m pleased to see how popular the sport has become across Adelaide and throughout the Riverland.

I applaud Rowing SA for its inclusivity, paving the way for a broader demographic.

I am very pleased to hear that just over 50 percent of rowers in South Australia are female, and that a number of able-bodied athletes and athletes with a disability are achieving national representation from a training base at West Lakes.

Behind every crew is a dedicated support team of coaches, club officials, partners and often parents, and I thank you all for supporting them to become the best rowers and coxes they can be.

I also thank Rowing SA for supporting local rowers of all ages, from juniors through to masters, to enjoy the many benefits of this great sport.

At the heart of every regatta is a great team of staff and volunteers, and I express my appreciation to all of Rowing SA’s energetic and dedicated workers.

Volunteers, in particular, are the lifeblood of so many sporting and community organisations, and I thank those here today for undertaking a wide range of important roles.

Congratulations to everyone who competed today, and good luck to all who will be competing tomorrow.

Coming events