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My rowing experience began when I was 15. A few of my friends chose rowing as their school summer sport the previous year and suggested that I join them at their pre-season gym sessions. The next thing I knew I was rowing in the eights on the Yarra! It was a little tough at first learning the somewhat-confusing terminology but soon enough I got the hang of it (just before competitions began luckily). 

One of my favourite rowing memories from this time would have to be when we rowed from Heron Island downstream to Princes Bridge on a summery Monday afternoon, what we called a ‘swing-through’. We rowed to and trained on the Maribyrnong River, attended rowing camps at Lake Nagambie and competed against other schools in very questionable conditions. My experience culminated in 2014 and 2015 when my crew and I had the opportunities to represent our school at the NSW Rowing Championships at the Sydney International Rowing Centre, Penrith, an experience I have always been proud of.

Throughout my journey I learnt about what it means to show commitment, courage, strength, leadership and perseverance. I gained invaluable experience from my coaches and the challenges our squads faced. I found a love of coaching when I made the transition into coaching in 2016 and since I have been sharing my passion of rowing with Junior rowers, developing their skills and building a strong club culture.

Upon joining TopRow this year I am motivated to continue introducing beginners to the wider rowing community in Melbourne. Rowing is a fantastic sport and I look forward to creating more opportunities for all to get on the water and have fun.

Meet our Team: Thais Umbelino

Meet our Team: Thais Umbelino

Thais joined TopRow in 2019 because she wanted a flexible job that would fit in around her studying. Now that Thais has graduated from university she has more time and wanted to take the opportunity to get more involved in TopRow Putney. Thais Learnt to row in Brazil...

Meet our Team: Melanie Perkins

Meet our Team: Melanie Perkins

Having learnt to row with a laid back university club in York (UK), I didn’t know what I was getting into when I later joined my local club in London with a 6 day a week training program. I was soon hooked. With the club spirit and vision of winning shiny pots, rowing...

Meet our Team: Ainsley Raggatt

Meet our Team: Ainsley Raggatt

I began rowing at my school at St Catherine’s in year 8. I originally started rowing just to prove to my older sister that I was better than her. But like most people, I was addicted to the sport within the first few weeks. After leaving school, I took a year away...