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Archived latest news items: December 2008

Thursday 25 December

Issue 46 of Australian Rowing News: now available

Contents include:

  • From the CEO
  • Crawshay pips rivals to be crowned Rowers' Rower
  • Future talented observed at national camp
  • Coach of the Year claims NRCE role
  • National Events Calendar welcomes greater participation
  • 2009 Events of Interest
  • Coaches Tip
  • Australian Youth Olympic Festival 2009
  • Athlete profile

— Click here —

Tuesday 23 December

Vale Georgia Green

Former National Team coxswain Georgia Green passed away on Wednesday 17th December in Sydney. Georgia competed for the National Team at the 1991, 1994 and 1995 World Championships and most recently was a part time coach with The Kings School, Ascham School and UTS. Rowing Australia sends its sincerest condolences to Georgia’s family and friends. Georgia's funeral is an open service to be held on Monday 29th December at 2.15pm at the North Chapel, Northern Suburbs Crematorium in North Ryde. The wake is also open to all and will be held at UTS Rowing Club in the Restaurant upstairs following the service.

Saturday 20 December

Emerging talent camp ends on a high note

The National ‘Emerging Talent’ camp ended Friday in Canberra at the AIS on a high note with all attendees praising the initiative as a great step forward towards London 2012 and beyond.

At the conclusion of the camp, 14 men and 12 women were also offered AIS residential scholarships for season 2009.

Former High Performance Director, Noel Donaldson – now Men’s Head Coach – also made a welcome return to the megaphone.

Describing his recent return to full-time coaching on the water, Donaldson was quick to turn the spotlight towards the athletes and coaches attending the camp.

“I’m loving being back on the water again – I feel like I never left, enjoy working with the whole NRCE coaching and management team and I’m going to relish the challenge ahead of us” he said. “The group of athletes we assembled here were a great mix of young talent and experience. There were athletes and coaches from every state here last week, and we pushed them all to the limit to discover their hidden potential.”

NRCE Operations Manager, Matt Draper, described the camp as a sign of things to come.

“The NRCE is a newly formed organisation that brings together the High Performance Program from Rowing Australia and the AIS Rowing program under the control of our new National High Performance Director, Andrew Matheson. Our partners around Australia in the various SIS/SAS and SSOs need to see that our actions mirror our words” he said.

“Leadership and Coordination of all of our existing programs is our main focus. We started planning this camp a long time ago, and there’s been a common thread through it all ... taking responsibility for our actions and knowing where the ‘real’ international Senior A standard is. If we can light the spark in these athletes' and coaches' ambitions and dreams, then we believe the momentum we build together will be unstoppable coming into London 2012” Draper added.

Donaldson said that although the obvious focus was with water training and technique guidance, there were some notable changes to the norm.

“To achieve our aims of 3 gold medals in London, we need to build better athletes. Athletes that can run, swim, ride as well as row fast. To do that, we need to give them the knowledge and tools to achieve our targets. That’s why we took the time to deliver sessions on bike riding technique and safety, and how to run efficiently and avoid injuries. The coaches we invited took up the challenge as well. We all learnt from experts in other sports and disciplines – and that just makes us all better coaches” Donaldson added.

A full list of approved AIS Scholarship holders will be published shortly.

The National Rowing Center of Excellence’s key partners include: The Australian Sports Commission, The Australian Institute of Sport, State Institutes and Academies of Sport, State Rowing Associations, High Performance Clubs and the Australian Olympic Committee.

The men’s squad preparing for the bike leg of the triathlon
Men's Head Coach, Noel Donaldson, makes a return to full-time coaching

Monday 15 December

Future of rowing underway in Canberra

The exciting future of Australian rowing commenced yesterday in Canberra with the newly established National Rowing Centre of Excellence (NRCE) hosting an intensive training camp.

Over 70 of Australia’s most talented emerging rowers were invited to attend the camp by the newly appointed National High Performance Director, Andrew Matheson.

The athletes will be placed through a week long assessment camp at the Australian Institute of Sport where they will be scrutinised by national Head Coaches, Noel Donaldson and Lyall McCarthy. All three of Australia’s Olympic medal winning coaches – Rhett Ayliffe (men’s double scull), Chris O’Brien (men’s pair) and Tim Conrad (men’s four) – will also participate in the camp.

In this unique camp which is unlike any other at the AIS, athletes will be put through a combination of rigorous assessments, combined with education and instruction sessions. There will be a number of sessions on the waters of Lake Burley Griffin, as well as sessions at the main campus of the AIS.

The women’s squad get ready for a bike ride on the second morning of the camp
Tony Rice gives a detailed demonstration on bike riding to the camp attendees

Two separate Ironman events will be staged across the week to test a number of the athlete’s skills and also provide a change to normal training methods.

Some of the athletes prepare for a session on the ergo

High Performance Director Andrew Matheson commented that although only two days into the camp, the talent pool is impressive.

“We understand that we have to perform in the future,” Matheson said. “Our whole program has been restructured and re-positioned from top to bottom with one goal in mind – medals success in the future.

“Some of the talent we have on show here is pretty raw, but we have a coaching pool second to none in the world and we are confident that if any athlete has any talent within them, our coaches will make the most of it.

Matheson went on to say that the new program is promising to deliver key results.

“We are putting a lot of pressure on ourselves at the moment. We realise that there are some areas of opportunity that still exist in our High Performance Program and so we have taken some hard steps and done a lot of work to get prepared for the future.

“It’s all about Leadership and its all about coordinating all the great programs we have and integrating them into one single focus – medals. We have great partners in our programs from the AIS to every State Institute, Academy, Association and Club - and we will rely heavily on each of them to help us deliver.”

With a number of athlete’s already having been offered full time scholarships at the AIS, there will be the opportunity for some of these talented and developing rowers to snare one of the last remaining places at the AIS in 2009.

For those that miss out on this occasion, there is still a long way to go in the 2009 season, with a number of state based camps, the 2009 Australian Rowing Championships and the April selection trials still ahead to show their worth to the national selectors and coaches.

More updates will be provided throughout the week in what promises to showcase the future talent of rowing in Australia.

Sunday 14 December

Position vacant:
Head Coach, Mercantile Rowing Club

Due to our Head Coach taking a prestigious appointment with the Victorian Institute of Sport we seek a highly organised, energetic and successful coach to take his place.

The successful appointment will manage a very successful group of athletes and will be responsible for running the rowing program in one of Australia’s premier rowing clubs.

  • Minimum level of coaching qualifications – NCAS Level 2 with the intention to complete L3.
  • Demonstrated success at National Championship Level, particularly with younger athletes.
  • Ambition to coach at National Team Level.
  • Ability to manage a large group of volunteer coaches.
  • A full position description is available upon request.

A generous package including a fully maintained vehicle will be negotiated.

We invite applications by the 5th January 2009 to our club president, Philippe Batters at

Enquiries to club captain Henry Edgar on 0413 456 426 or email to

Sunday 14 December

Christmas gift idea — Peter Antonie: Out of His Shell

Download the flyer (pdf, 292kb) for full details.

Saturday 13 December

RA media release:
Captain Crawshay scoops major prize

2008 Australian rowing team captain, David Crawshay, has been awarded Rowing Australia’s highest honour tonight after being named as Rowers’ Rower of the Year at a function held at The National Museum of Australia, Canberra.

Crawshay claimed a shock gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the men’s double scull with Tasmanian Scott Brennan, whilst also picking up two bronze medals at World Cup regattas earlier in the season.

“It’s been a pretty amazing year and I will definitely look back at 2008 with fond memories,” Crawshay said. “The gold medal experience I shared with Scott in Beijing will be a memory I keep with me for a long time to come but to also captain the team was an enjoyable experience.

“To be recognised by my peers in such a manner means a lot to me and I look forward to sharing more successes with them in the coming years.”

The men’s pair of Duncan Free and Drew Ginn fought off strong competition from Crawshay and Brennan and the men’s four to win Male Crew of the Year. Ginn and Free, who won back to back World Championships in 2006 and 2007, entered the Beijing regatta as firm favourites to win gold but were almost derailed when Ginn was badly affected by a bulging disc in his back.

The women’s lightweight quad scull crew of Bronwen Watson, Alice McNamara, Miranda Bennett and Ingrid Fenger was awarded Female Crew of the Year after claiming the gold medal at the non-Olympic World Championships in July.

Tasmanian coach Rhett Ayliffe held off a strong challenge to claim 2008 Coach of the Year after he steered the men’s double scull to a gold medal in Beijing and also played a significant role in the development of the men’s single and quad scull crews. Ayliffe pipped men’s pair coach Chris O’Brien, men’s four coach Tim Conrad and the women’s lightweight quad scull coach Ellen Randell for the title.

Olympic team manager Ray Ebert was recognised for his tireless contribution to the sport over the past four years as he was announced as 2008 Volunteer of the Year. Ebert, who has acted as either assistant manager or manager for the last four years, was a worthy winner of the award.

The Rower of the Year Awards also marked the first day of the U23 national camp, where Australia’s emerging athletes have their chance to push for senior selection in 2009 and beyond. Over 70 athletes will attend the week long camp that will be held out of the AIS facilities in Canberra.

For more information please call
David Polglase on 0401 453 041

Full list of Winners:

Rowers’ Rower of the Year
David Crawshay (Victoria)

Male Crew of the Year
Men’s Pair
Drew Ginn (Victoria), Duncan Free (Queensland)

Female Crew of the Year
Women’s Lightweight Quad Scull
Bronwen Watson (NSW)
Ingrid Fenger (Tasmania)
Miranda Bennett (NSW)
Alice McNamara (Victoria)

Coach of the Year
Rhett Ayliffe (Tasmania)

Volunteer of the Year
Ray Ebert (Queensland)

Thursday 11 December

Issue 45 of Australian Rowing News: now available

Contents include:

  • From the CEO
  • Webber charity event throws up challenge for Olympic Champions
  • Stars shortlisted for top award
  • AGM heralds the new Olympic cycle
  • Green new Chef de Mission
  • Ambassador Rabjohns joins fight against men's health
  • 2008/2009 Events of Interest
  • Coaches Tip
  • Australian Youth Olympic Festival 2009
  • Athlete profile

— Click here —

Thursday 4 December

FISA World Rowing Tour 2009, Birstonas, Lithuania

Lithuanian Rowing Federation kindly invites rowers to Birstonas for the FISA World Rowing Tour, 15-22 August 2009.

Visit for full details.

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