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RGS rowing family still clocks up the kilometres

17th Apr 2020

The extended RGS Rowing family is clocking up the kilometres, from the comfort of their ergos at home.

RGS rowers, mums and dads, brothers and sisters and even RGS past students have joined the RGS Rowing Team to compete in the Australia-wide 2020 Indoor Interstate Regatta.

With many regattas cancelled the rowing enthusiasts have joined the at-home challenge where they can log their rowing distances. The Rowing Australia initiative, which started on 6 April, is an inter-state challenge with Queensland leading in the closing stages of the race to the finish line on 20 April.

Whether it’s families in Rockhampton or at properties around Central Queensland in the Springsure, Capella and Dingo districts, or even on the Gold Coast, RGS families are loving the challenge.

RGS Head of Rowing John Smyth said this was a great initiative by Rowing Australia to keep rowers around the country connected, moving and competitive during a time when rowing on the water has been put to the side.

“Of course we also want to help Queensland win,’’ Mr Smyth said.

Mr Smyth said the Cook family on the Gold Coast has logged over 150,000m so far!  The RGS rowers had already combined for 681,127metres when there was five days remaining in the competition.

“Olivia Cook (Year 11) and Josh O'Regan (Year 12) are leading the way on meters for the girls and boys,’’ Mr Smyth said.

“We have individual contributions of 400m all the way up to 24,500m in one hit! They all count and it has been great to see the enthusiasm from entire families - mums, dads, younger brothers and sisters, and past RGS rowers as well.”

The off-water regatta also is helping the RGS rowing coach and his rowers through this different time.

“It was most difficult for our rowers who missed out on competing at nationals,’’ Mr Smyth said.

“It takes months of commitment and preparation, starting back in October 2019, to get ready for nationals. The event was cancelled a week out from our departure date. So that was difficult.”

RGS Year 11 boarder Riley Godwin, from the Springsure district, is one of the rowers enjoying the challenge to keep him going after the disappointment of missing nationals.

Riley said training at home could be quite difficult due to the early mornings and long days spent working.

“This leaves limited time and energy for training but with a little persistence, you always find a little bit for an ergo, run or even the occasional swim,’’ Riley said.

Riley said not going to nationals was disappointing without question due to the many months of hard training to prepare us for a strong campaign.

“It was more disappointing to see our rowing seniors not able to complete their final national’s campaign,’’ Riley said.

“This was my last opportunity to row with seniors such as Nick Storey, Reece Byrne, Lachlan Johnson, Josh O’Regan and Will Howland who have been a huge part of my rowing involvement and close mates.

“However, there are far bigger issues in the world right now so we must keep that in perspective.”

Riley said with the future of rowing, and where we are headed to next, being unforeseen he is remaining positive and focused on setting goals and working towards their next campaign.

“Recovery and rest is just as important as training and competing itself, so a breath of fresh air and a break at home could be what we need,’’ Riley said.

Mr Smyth said other RGS rowers were scheduled to take a break until the start of Term 2.

“It will be strange not being on the water at the start of Term 2, however, we will make the best out of this situation by getting some work done at the shed as we often don’t have that opportunity,’’ Mr Smyth said.

RGS Rowers were provided with training programmes during the school holidays and will receive a programme at the start of Term 2.

Mr Smyth said coaches were working through final details now before communicating with our rowers during the term.

“Training environments will look very different among our rowers and we will do our best to provide for each situation,’’ Mr Smyth said.

If you have an ergo at home you still have a couple of days to join the challenge. If you want your contribution to also help the RGS Rowing Team email your name and metres rowed to Mr Smyth at rowing@rgs.qld.edu.au

The Regatta home page, and updated results, are available at https://rowingaustralia.com.au/2020/04/01/2020-indoor-interstate-regatta/

Pictured left are the Godwin family from "Tanderra Station", Springsure. Pictured from left: Sylvia (RGS 2018), Annalee (RGS 2017), Riley (on ergo, Year 11) and Jared (Year 8).