AHEAD of tomorrow’s annual Head of the Lake regatta between secondary schools, Ballarat High School’s rowing club isn’t dwelling on the pandemic’s training interruptions.
Participation numbers are up at the BHS rowing shed, which director Rob Simmonds said is a place of positivity, encouragement, and promising young talent.
“We’ve got massive numbers, and more crews than we’ve had in the last couple of years. This year, the focus is ‘let’s enjoy ourselves, learn and develop our skills’,” he said.
“We’ve got six year 10 girls crews, and five year 10 boys crews. That’s the most we can remember having. The signs for the future are good.
“2021 has been about having fun and keeping them engaged. This year’s a success if we turn up next season and the kids sign back up.”
The top open crews, facing Ballarat’s division one pool over two kilometres, are looking to achieve personal best times on Friday, and to make BHS proud.
Open boys’ firsts coach Patrick Hawkes said the goal for this Head of the Lake has “never been about winning.”
“We understand we’re all coming back next year. We’re hoping to put ourselves in a good position to be competitive in the future,” he said.
Open girls’ firsts co-coach Olivia Spagnolo said tomorrow’s results aren’t what matter most.
“Regardless of what happens, I hope they’ll feel confident, equally excited and nervous, give it their best, and be happy with how they row,” she said.
Mr Simmonds gave the “standout” year 10 division three girls a shout-out.
“They have a great bond. They’ve set their own additional challenges and weights training to better themselves. That’s the attitude you want in your top crews,” he said.
“There’s good resilience and potential here. I’m really excited for 2022 and 2023 at the shed.”