Port Pirie Rowing Club’s success story continues with a $4800 grant enabling members to buy a new shell. The “regulation four” will be lighter for women rowers to carry than the previous boat.
It will also convert to a quad-scull, allowing greater use of the shell by the club’s 20 members. The rebirth of the club is continuing after a resurgence of activity from the days when there was only one oarsman, Bill Othams.
Othams, who is still sculling, said the new boat would be easier for the women to carry to the water for launching. Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock handed over a certificate of funding from the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing’s Active Club Program.
Standing beside the rows of boats, Mr Brock said the club had been revitalised with activities on the Pirie River and competing in regattas. He said young people had been encouraged to go for a paddle. “I am astounded at the growth – I have not been here for a long time,” he said.
Othams said the club had been founded in 1908, although the earliest local rowing was thought to have been in 1874.
Madeline Magor, who has been a rower for about three years, said the new boat would be so much easier to carry. “I am definitely excited about that," she said. She said the sport was physically challenging.
“But it is still a good social sport. The regattas are fun and going out in the mornings is good as well. It is challenging, but peaceful,” she said.
Captain Peter Munday said the new shell would be 15kg lighter and would be versatile.
“We are trying to boost membership and this will help,” he said.
Head coach Graham Fitzgerald is a former state sculling champion.
“I come down most mornings, watch the finish of the row from the wharf and then offer a critique,” he said.