Home' Capricornus Quarterly : CQ Oct 2019 Contents 6
Make Light Work
Being part of the RGS rowing community is a
rewarding experience and there are many ways to get
involved, wr ites Claire Mactaggart.
Trailers laden with boats, a bus load of
students, swags and several eskies brimming
with groceries may sound like an epic camping
trip but these are just some of the items on-
route to a regatta when RGS rowers compete
at venues away from home. Throughout the
event, parents prepare meals (including some
180 meat and salad wraps), working with the
coaches and rowers as needed to ensure
the weekend is a rewarding and enjoyable
participating in a
regatta is a great way to
watch a child develop
their skills, learn about
the sport, meet new
people and experience
venues aside from
the wonderful Fitzroy
facility, such as
Townsville, Bucca, Wyaralong and Sydney.
The RGS rowing community is a welcoming
and proactive group that offers many ways to get
involved whether it’s helping on the water, in the
shed, transporting boats or food preparation.
David and Megan Storey were involved with
rowing throughout their daughter Imogen’s
years at RGS and their son Nicholas, Year 11,
started in 2016.
“We’ve been lucky to meet other parents who
we wouldn’t have otherwise met. We have made
some wonderful friends over the years and by
volunteering at Regattas (food preparation,
boat driving, bow numbers etc) we’ve gained a
deeper understanding of the sport, while having
a fun time. It ’s also given us the satisfaction of
knowing that we have helped contribute to the
running of successful regattas, in a small way,”
John Smyth, the RGS Head of Rowing said
parent support is an essential part of the RGS
“Gratefully, we have many parents with a
variety of skills who put their hand up every year
to assist. The effort of our parent volunteers
enhances the experiences for rowers, creates
a vibrant rowing community and improves
performance on the water,” he said.
Bob and Kerry Saunders have been involved
in RGS rowing for eight years, both as parents
and committee members. Bob is a former
president of the RGS Rowing Club and member
of the Joint Rockhampton Rowing Committee.
“Our kids Georgia and Luke absolutely loved
“ the shed” and the rowing community they were
part of, and we enjoyed being a part of that
too, with the fantastic people within the parent
group who have now become lifelong friends.
With volunteers the club flourishes and that
means a lot to the kids - all the kids - not just
your own,” Bob says.
It’s also about having fun along the way.
“Some of my fondest memories were the
sheer fun of organising outings and social
adventures for hard working volunteer parents,
such as leading a convoy of four cars, full of
parents to what was supposed to be a historic
lagoon full of cultural significance in the
foothills of the Blue Mountains only to find, after
driving and then walking, it was instead full of
toxic waste complete with warning signs! Also,
trips down the Parramatta River to Circular
Quay, towing boats with parents and driving a
trailer full of boats through the northern NSW
floods. It ’s the sheer joy of watching your kids
and their crews or friends win, place or even
finish after months of gruelling training,” Bob
Jane Howland is the current Treasurer of the
RGS Rowing Club and her son William in Year 11,
has rowed since 2014.
“Everyone is welcoming and friendly and
there’s a sense of belonging to a community
within the school. We all work towards a
common goal of helping our children to achieve
their goals and be the best
they can be,” Jane said.
“The rowers work
together as a team to help
each other, no matter
what year level, to achieve
their best during regattas
but also during training
sessions. They have a
mutual respect for each other and a genuine
interest in other’s wellbeing.”
George and Kim Sypher’s eldest daughter
Grace, in Year 12, has competed since 2015
and her younger sisters Laura, Year 10, and
Gabby, in Year 8, also row.
“It ’s a great environment to connect with
many other RGS families. The regatta’s and
rowing in general are a great way to bring
boarder and day parents together. You meet
some truly amazing and humble people in this
sport, plusthe odd Olympian or two along the
way,” George said.
This inclusive community is grateful for
volunteer support at any level and there’s
always an opportunity to gain new skills like boat
driving or perfecting the art of wrap making.
Other wise, simply come along and enjoy a
glorious day on the water.
“ We have made some wonderful friends
over the years...and gained a deeper
understanding of the sport” Megan Storey.
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