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Crew members of the Avon Rowing Club in Christchurch are celebrating a grant of $40,000 from NZCT for coaching and administrative costs.
Men’s Captain of Boats Will Johnston, says ”Being the largest rowing club in New Zealand, the support from NZCT goes a long way in keeping costs down & the sport accessible to students and school leavers. With between 550-600 active members, this support ensures the whole operation can run smoothly. With their ongoing involvement, the highest quality of coaching is assured so that everyone gets the support they need. “
Women's Co-Captain Arlia O'Sullivan adds, “The ongoing support from NZCT helps to keep the sport of rowing affordable in addition with great funding for top notch coaches. With their support we are able to achieve not only our rowing goals but team building capabilities at Avon Rowing Club.”
One of four rowing clubs training on Kerr’s Reach in Christchurch, Avon Rowing Club is one of the oldest established rowing clubs in New Zealand and has long been an integral part of sport in the Canterbury region. Avon runs a wide spectrum of programs at the club, including programs for schools, adult novices, recreational rowers, long term club rowers and also high performance athlete, who compete internationally.
International rowing is now one of New Zealand sport’s success stories, but at grass roots level the variety it offers to athletes of all ages and abilities can give a lifetime of enjoyment to those who participate. At Avon we aim to provide the best that rowing can offer and, very importantly, make it possible for people from any background to experience our sport.
The club includes rowers from local secondary schools Burnside High School, Marian College, Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, Riccarton High School, Shirley Boys’ High School, St Andrew’s College, St Bede’s College, St Margaret’s College, St Thomas of Canterbury College, Villa Maria College and the University of Canterbury. Male and female members participate at all levels from U15 and novice through to masters, in both sculling and sweep oar events throughout the rowing calendar. The club also hosts rowers from overseas visiting New Zealand, corporate rowers, and university rowers.
Director of Community & Club Rowing Logan Keys concludes, ”Our club has grown from less than twenty active club rowers (excluding schools) to over one hundred & forty over the last eight years. This has been largely thanks to NZCT ensuring we can contract enough coaches and administration staff to safely supervise, organize, and coach this growing number of athletes.”
“Without the grant, we would have been unable to sustain our operations across the club or to support the additional community programs we run outside our competitive squads. Having a permanent Rowing Director allows us to run the additional programs for organizations like Oranga-Tamariki. We pride ourselves on our community outreach, which is somewhat unique in the rowing space, where clubs often focus solely on their competitive programs.”