On course: Winners in the Bendigo Rowing Club’s annual awards, held last month. Photo: SUPPLIED.

Rowers recognised at awards night

July 22, 2021 BY

A HUMBLE sixteen-year-old topped the list of award winners at Bendigo Rowing Club’s annual dinner and awards presentation last month.

Deb Spring, vice-president of Rowing Victoria, received the Club’s Coxswain Award for her work with junior rowers.

Eliza Oxley received the Hannah Every-Hall Award, given to the club’s most promising female sculler.

“I was quite surprised really,” she said. “I was not expecting it.”

Oxley’s 2019-20 season included a gold medal win on the Barwon River at last year’s School Sport Victoria regatta.

Oxley and her rowing partner, Isabelle Shoebridge, crossed the finish line more than 20 seconds ahead of their competitors in the 1000 metre B final of the female school double scull year 10 division 1 race.

“I’d like to go to states next year and continue rowing with my school friends, to grow more friendships and grow as a person to go further as well,” Oxley said.

Oxley’s coach, Neve Coleman, said her determination in the sport made her a worthy recipient of the award, named after the World Champion rower and 2012 Australian Olympic athlete.

“Definitely in the last year we’ve seen Eliza and a few of the other girls really rise up to the challenge of being a regional club competing in a city-based sport, particularly versing elite private schools,” she said.

“That award is quite special in that it’s named after Hannah who overcame all those challenges… coming from a rural city, a small lake, not from a private school to then go on and dominate in a sport that generally she wouldn’t succeed in.”

Vice-president of Rowing Victoria, Deb Spring, received the Bendigo Rowing Club Coxswain Award for her work with the club’s junior rowers.

Other award winners on the night included Club Champion, Livia Rosaia, and Most Promising Female Sculler, Julia Rosaia.

Grace Kealy was recognised as Most Improved Junior Rower, while Shoebridge and Phoebe Maher received the Club Coaches award.

Denis Nihill and Peter Wearne were named Most Dedicated and Most Improved Adult Rowers, respectively.