Tuesday, 25 July 2023
SA Masters Rowers Reception
I am delighted to welcome you to Government House to celebrate your outstanding success.
A big congratulations to everyone! Be very proud of your achievements because we are proud of you.
As many of you would know, rowing played a big part in my early adult life in Adelaide as well as during my first diplomatic in Hong Kong.
There is nothing more satisfying, or invigorating, than skimming across the surface of the River Torrens, West Lakes, Lake Burley Griffin or the Shatin River to jumpstart the day.
I must say, while there has been no little water under the bridge since I was a young rower at the Adelaide University Boat Club, I credit rowing with assisting me to develop many life skills such as persistence, stamina, determination, and teamwork.
And I remember fondly the camaraderie and team spirit that develops amongst rowers.
That spirit of friendship, which is a hallmark of club-based rowing, is already evident here.
The composite crews medal table from the recent Masters Rowing Championships makes impressive reading.
I was absolutely thrilled to see that three South Australian teams were in the top 10, with Adelaide Uni topping the table and Torrens coming seventh and Riverside, eighth.
I also understand Rob Ellis from the Torrens Rowing Club and Susi Detterding from the University of Adelaide Boat Club who shone as the fourth and seventh best athletes in terms of medals in the mixed competition.
Let us also reflect on your other successes because they are stories worth telling.
The SA Men’s Masters Coxed Eight Crew won the Australian Interstate title for the third year in a row, coming from behind and snatching the win by 0.2 of a second from NSW on the Sydney 2000 Olympic course.
The SA Women’s Masters Coxed Eight were dominant leading all the way to win by nearly three boat lengths. The Queensland women, who had won the title for the previous seven years, were fourth.
This is even more special because it is the first ever SA Women’s Interstate Masters Title win in any boat class and a first interstate title by most of the SA Crew.
That’s all the more impressive when it is measured against the field of some eighteen hundred rowers.
And it was the first year that South Australia has won more than one of the annual interstate Masters rowing titles.
We’ve always known that South Australia is an enthusiastic and talented sporting State, and this is another example of how competitive we are.
That’s due in no small part to the community spirit of those who take part in the grass roots clubs, encouraging and supporting the rowers, and ensuring the clubs are welcoming and vibrant places to be.
I was pleased to learn that Masters rowing has increased in popularity over the past 30 years.
I know myself that it takes effort and commitment for adults to fit their love of sport in between family, work commitments and other calls on your time, whether you are 30 or 90. Well done for doing so.
I also applaud the encouragement of mixed crews, whether by gender or club origin, as you have identified it brings new ideas and social benefits.
Behind every great crew is a dedicated support team of coaches, volunteers, family and friends and I thank everyone who has supported our rowers to excel.
Again, congratulations to everyone who competed and good luck for your future rowing endeavours.
I know you are always ready to stride out.