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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 some traveling, a friend of mine convinced me to pick up rowing again with her and we went on to join Richmond Rowing Club.

We joined at a strange and difficult time, in between Victoria’s first and second lockdown, where we were eager to be outside and take in those Winter evening sunsets on the Yarra. We were reintroduced into RRC’s welcoming and inclusive Development Squad; it was at this point that I was starting to get hooked. As I found myself in another lockdown, I was part of a supportive and inclusive community and the club did everything to keep us members active through their Active Minutes challenge as well as running zoom training sessions and social catch ups. The rowing bug was slowly creeping in and after a few weeks I found myself spending my Friday’s in lockdown on the erg and training for the Australian Indoor Rowing Championships. During lockdown I was improving my scores on the rowing machine using it as an escape and focus, the coaches and I started to think that I could do something serious with my rowing. Fast forward to February 21’ and I left the Victorian state rowing Championships with 3 Golds across different categories. I’ve been told there’s a moment in every rowers career where they catch the bug. This was mine.

Once I was fully on the rowing hype, I tried my hand at coaching, and found myself working with TopRow. I’ve really enjoyed introducing others to a sport that I am so passionate and excited about. There’s something about the physical action of rowing and being on the water that just hits different. Through rowing at RRC I have found myself surrounded by a team of amazing and inspiring people, many of which have become not just crewmates, but friends for life. I love the team aspect of rowing. Everyone working together to make the boat run as smoothly and quickly as possible. But for me it was those quiet moments either on the water (looking at the sunrise or sunset), having a coffee in between sessions that really made those early mornings worth it. Somedays I would find myself spending all day at the boat sheds, but I didn’t mind.

I look forward to spending many more years rowing and coaching more newcomers to the sport and hope that it can help others as much as it’s helped me!

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: 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...