If you’re looking for a low-impact sport and enjoy stunning sunrises, rowing could be for you. Get into the swing of it with the Riverway Rowing Club.
With 155 members aged 14 to 72, the Riverway Rowing Club is based out of the Loam Island Community Centre on Riverway Drive in Rasmussen. Members train in the coolness of early mornings or late afternoons and the membership base has a strong junior component through the rowing programs of Townsville Grammar School, Ryan Catholic School and Thuringowa State High School.
While the youngest members of the club join through their school rowing programs, adult club members join via the Learn-to-Row programs. From there, they find rowing partners and join existing crews in order to train towards club and state regattas or simply enjoy the social side of the sport.
University student Elizabeth Roche (Lizzie) joined Riverway Rowing Club through a school training program and has never looked back.
“I’m hooked. I love that rowing is both technically and physically challenging and it’s a social as well as a competitive sport,” Lizzie says.
“Rowing engages almost every muscle in the body but it’s low impact, so it’s great for general fitness and overall toning and muscle strength.
“We’re often treated to stunning sunrises and the wildlife is teeming at dawn. It puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day.”
Following a suggestion from his wife that he give rowing a try, Wayne Roy joined the Riverway Rowing Club in 2010. Now Vice-President of the club, he says the rhythmic feeling of rowing draws you in.
“You develop a craving for attaining a rhythm that’s smooth, efficient and fast,” Wayne says.
“It’s a lot harder to achieve than it looks but for those who endure the positive addiction will prevail.”
So far, Wayne’s biggest personal success was winning all heats and finals in the three Men’s Masters Single local North Queensland regattas last year. He also enjoys coaching the Townsville Grammar School rowing team.
“It’s a pleasure to see others under instruction perform at a high standard,” he says.
“Whether you just want to enjoy a social row or you want to compete at world regattas, there’s a place for you in the Riverway Rowing Club.”
She only started rowing four years ago but Carolyn MacDonald has already progressed to rowing at state and national level.
“After years spent sitting on the bank watching my children make it look easy, I found out the hard way that rowing isn’t as easy as it looks,” Carolyn says.
“But there’s a certain satisfaction at being out on the water with a group of like-minded people at 5 o’clock in the morning and seeing the world waking up.”
Carolyn was voted in as the female club captain this year and last year competed as part of the North Queensland Masters eight and a reserve for the quad, which went on to compete as the Queensland Quad at national level.
“We’re heading away again at the end of the month to compete at the Queensland State Masters Championships,” Carolyn says.
“It’s the largest number of ladies from the club to make selection in the club’s history, with seven of us in the eight and three in the quad.”