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Ballarat High School: A Rowing School

From its earliest years Ballarat High School has boated rowing crews. In the 1940’s the School formally joined the Ballarat Public Schools’ Association (now the Central Highlands Independent Secondary School’s Sports Association) and has competed very successfully in the annual Head of the Lake regatta and various other club, state and national events over the years. Girls’ rowing was introduced in 1980. In 1960 the School built its own Boatshed on Lake Wendouree. This has now been extended three times with the most recent extension completed in 1998.

In 1974 the Ballarat High School Boat Club was formed, drawing upon the support of parents and former students. This resulted in a resurgence of rowing at the school, particularly evident throughout the 1980’s, where the school won several premierships in the annual Head of the Lake regatta.

The Boat Club is currently responsible for the raising of approximately $30,000 a year. This has resulted in a fleet of 18 boats and many other pieces of associated equipment. The school is unique within the State Secondary School system in having its own Boatshed and such an expensive fleet of shells and equipment. This is in no small measure due to the dedicated efforts of the Boatclub parents and former students.

The school’s rowing programme is fortunate in being able to rely upon a highly talented pool of volunteer/unpaid coaches, many of them former rowers. Many of our former rowers have continued rowing after they left school. A number have gone on to represent their state and country, including Gary Gullock (Silver at Los Angeles Olympics) and Tim Wright (World Championship Gold in 1997).