Due to  COVID-19 isolation period, the National Rowing Championships had been postponed and all international Regattas had been cancelled, the St Augustine’s rowers reset all training and tried to come to grips with the impact, stay motivated and fit and be ready when the curtain raises. 

Our Year 10 VIII would have defeated their National title for the third consecutive year. Nikolas Pender and Patrick Burke had their eyes set to represent Australia at the U19 World Championships in Bled, Slovenia.

 Our squad started with a break from rowing for about three weeks to revitalise and recharge, before they commenced a more formal training regime. Gym equipment, including rowing machines and spin bikes from Mosman Rowing Club have been distributed wide and far to some of the boy’s homes.

The boys and their parents have been challenged by Judith and have completed daily tasks where teams of four (two rowers/two parents) compete for virtual kilometres on the rowing erg, bike, run and swim. Over 55 Day more than 10500km have been accumulated.

The leading team were the Assassins with our own Judith grinding the Ks followed by Team Epic, The Alphas, ISO Breakers, Oarsome Foursome, The ExOARcisers and Pandemic Force. Parents have also been seen during weekly Zoom mobility and strength sessions, joining their sons! The energy, enthusiasm fuelled by banter was phenomenal.

Old Boy Torben Ungemach (Class of 2019) has been awarded the Laurie Stepto Award 2020. It is for an outstanding rower in NSW of any gender. It was a great honour for our Torbinator to receive the award presented through Rowing NSW. A previous St Augustine’s College recipient was Sean Murphy in 2015.

Sean Murphy (Class of 2014) has qualified for the Olympic Qualification Regatta to go to the Tokyo Olympics. With its postponement he had to reset his training and targets and aims for re-selection in October this year.

Now with NSW Government restrictions easing, the boys are back on the water in groups of ten in single sculls only and under strict movement and hygiene standards.

We are hoping for further easing of restrictions soon and that our boys can go back into the big boats. They are ready for it.

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