Rowing Camp 2020
By Imogen Greig-Connor (Rowing Gap Coach)
In the penultimate week of the holidays, 56 rowers in Years 10-12 set out in high spirits for their annual rowing camp, this year held at the Nepean River, Penrith NSW. Everyone had a great week, with every crew and rower making huge gains and progress. The athletes worked positively through long and hard sessions and took full advantage of the pool for rest and recovery in between rowing. The pool was especially useful considering the scorching temperatures that Penrith experienced that week! Each day rowers participated in three different sessions, each one with a different focus, to develop new skills and techniques.
One of the highlights of the camp was a session with the ‘Sandhill Warrior’ at Palm Beach. The rowers were really put through their paces on the dunes, both mentally and physically, and we were proud to see the teamwork, grit and commitment as everyone gave it their all and pushed themselves to the limits.
There was also a lot of excitement one morning when cox Ben Heatley realized he had a stowaway in the form of a possum, who had decided to take a nap at the feet of the cox’s seat. It was hard to tell who was more startled - the crew or the possum, but it took some time to coax the creature out from the hull of the boat so the boys could go for a row! (Watch the video of possum departure).
We were also very fortunate to be able to have a visit and education sessions from the coxswain of the Australian Women’s Eight, James Rook. James showed the coxes recordings from his racing at the World Champs and provided a great insight into just how important the coxes are and the massive difference they can make to race. Later in the week, the rowers and coxes were given a tour of the Women’s National Training Centre, located in Penrith. The centre was very impressive and the everyone enjoyed meeting some of the top Australian female rowers. Perhaps we may see a few of our current Radford rowers there in the future?
On the Saturday of camp, temperatures in Penrith reached a very hot 46 degrees, so following an early morning row (avoiding the heat), we went on a group trip to the cinema. The cinema was thoroughly enjoyed by all, even if it was partly just from being in the air con.
The camp culminated in a day of racing at the Sydney International Regatta Centre. Many regattas are held here throughout the season, so it was a fantastic opportunity for crews to practise their race plans and experience the conditions at SIRC, in preparation for all the coming races. The times recorded in these races showed great promise for our Radford crews.
The camp would not have been such a huge success without the help of our four younger rowers: Oli Fox, Heath Shaw, Marcus Ward and Stuart Ward. All four of them stepped up with great enthusiasm to help cox for their older fellow teammates and they were a great asset to the camp.
Looking to the season ahead, this camp has shown that Radford Rowing has great drive, strength and promise, and hopefully this passion will manifest into medals in the upcoming weeks.