Row­ing club for col­lege

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - SPORTS -

ES­TAB­LISH­ING par­al­lels be­tween sport and higher ed­u­ca­tion is not a new thing, but a Clon­tarf Abo­rig­i­nal Col­lege pi­lot pro­gram has blos­somed into a thriv­ing row­ing club.

Last year, un­der the ti­tle Row Ahead, Clon­tarf in con­junc­tion with the Curtin Univer­sity Boat Club es­tab­lished the first all Abo­rig­i­nal row­ing squad.

It is made up of Abo­rig­i­nals from Ya­maji, Gidgee and Noon­gar na­tions as well as stu­dents from the North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

Boat club rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cameron Thorn said the re­sponse was un­ex­pected and since the 15 inau­gu­ral se­nior squad rowers the club had ex­panded to house teams in years 7, 8 and 9.

“We had the first all-in­dige­nous squad in a state re­gatta which is quite a big deal,” he said.

The trail blaz­ing squad were break­ing bar­ri­ers for the sport, which is usu­ally as­so­ci­ated to elite pri­vate schools.

“More stu­dents have be­come in­volved than we thought,” Mr Thorn said.

“We teach stu­dents to row, build their con­fi­dence and they also learn phys ed and lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy.

“It is an as­pi­ra­tion build­ing out­reach ini­tia­tive.”

Clon­tarf Abo­rig­i­nal Col­lege rowers Amelia For­rest, Nikkita Smith, Erykah For­rest and Chelsea White­hurst.

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