City bids for Comm Games rowing

June 16, 2022 BY

Ready to go: Lake Wendouree’s two-kilometre course is the only one in Victoria of Word Rowing standard. Photo: FILE

SOME of the world’s best rowers could be putting on an elite sporting show on Lake Wendouree in four years’ time.

A pitch has been made by the City of Ballarat, including a video package, to host rowing events on the lake’s two-kilometre course when the Commonwealth Games come to regional Victoria in 2026.

The Office of the Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Rowing Australia, and the State Government have been sent the bid, which mayor Cr Daniel Moloney said presents not only an impressive, but “cost-effective” venue.

“Major investment in the last decade means Lake Wendouree is a world class, event-ready venue. Importantly, it is the only Word Rowing-standard course in Victoria, which means it has all the infrastructure to host elite level international rowing events,” he said.

“The lake is in the heart of the city, so athlete access for training and competition is straightforward, and with Ballarat home to one of four athlete villages for the Games, all the medical and team support for rowers is within easy reach as well.

“For spectators, Lake Wendouree provides the opportunity to ticket the start and finish of the rowing course, while also allowing free spectator access to the rowing events for thousands of local and regional residents who might not otherwise have the chance to enjoy watching live, elite level sporting competition.”

Rowing has been in the Commonwealth Games, formerly the British Empire Games, seven times, but not since Edinburgh hosted in 1986.

Although it’s been a while, Ballarat is no stranger to hosting an elite international regatta, having been the rowing venue of Melbourne’s 1956 Olympic Games.

Cr Moloney said this milestone moment in the city’s history continues to leave a legacy, but there’s so much more of this sporting story to be written.

“The 2026 Commonwealth Games has the potential to motivate a new generation of Ballarat rowers,” he said.