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Meet the TopRow rowers. Today we have a testimonial from Kerrin, a graduate from our January Learn to Row group in Melbourne! Read below to learn about her experience coming out of Lockdown and trying rowing for the very first time. (On the photo, Kerrin sat far right in the bow seat, pink dip dyed hair).

I signed up to TopRow in Jan 21’ after I grew rather too “voluptuous” during lockdown thanks to comfort consumption. My goal was to try something new and regain fitness. I just wanted to be out, with people and exercising again. Never one for half measures, I signed up for two Learn to row Level 1 courses running in parallel because I wanted 2 sessions a week! Why? Well the coaches at TopRow are superb – so many people show up from different backgrounds and with various chips on their shoulders post-lockdown. All the instructors were positive, constructive and encouraging – they weren’t just chirping for their supper. Everyone who enrolled with TopRow at the time as me were looking for the same thing post-lockdown – teamwork, cohesion, communication, connection and we were somewhat hesitant about it all, we were vulnerable. However TopRow made rowing our safe space – perhaps it’s the nature of the rowing community. Everyone spoke openly about how strange and nice it was to be out with people, and to have something to look forward to.

The instructors; Marcus, Ainsley, Xanthe, Mel, Kat … and so many others – all could have just switched off in despair in the presence of us complete beginners who all *knew everything* but knew *nothing* about teamwork. On one occasion early on in our course I was astounded with our instructors’ patience with our inability to synchronise as a crew – if they were ready to cry they were too professional to show it! They took it slow and persevered with us until they got us moving correctly after a lot of motivation and positive reinforcement. I was so impressed!

One thing to note during my experience is how accommodating TopRow was. During my first course I got bitten by a street cat which sent me to hospital for 3 days and I had to wait until the rowing relevant parts healed over the next two weeks. Once the docs gave me the all clear TopRow did everything they could to help ensure I made up my full complement of sessions.

After I completed my Learn to Row courses with TopRow I joined their partners Richmond Rowing Club to pursue the sport further. Both the former and the latter made the transition very easy and I’m looking forward to one day competing in my first ever regatta! May I also want to add that rowing seems to have been the best choice in regards to exercise. Women at Richmond are so fit, so strong. Men and women of all ages are out there doing their thing. That is the future I want – social and inclusive fitness bringing mental and physical well being.

Meet our Team: Lily Innes Irons

Meet our Team: Lily Innes Irons

My first introduction to rowing was during high school as a sports elective. Shortly after my introduction to rowing I joined my local club that had just reopened after 90 or so years of being closed. We didn't have any flash equipment, but we did have a hand full of...

Meet our Team: Kathryn Spinnler-Jenkins

Meet our Team: Kathryn Spinnler-Jenkins

In high school rowing seemed daunting and inaccessible. Only ever picked as a goalie in netball for my height, I had decided that team sports, and sport in general, wasn’t for me by age 13 or 14. When the opportunity came around to try for the rowing squad, I went...

Meet our Team: Xanthe Hadfield

Meet our Team: Xanthe Hadfield

Sport has always played an important part of my life, but It wasn’t love at first sight when I initially tried my hand at rowing at school. I was predominantly a competitive ballroom dancer, more concerned with getting blisters on my feet rather than my hands! After...