Reinhold Batschi OAM
His arrival in Australia
Extract from an article in the Australian Rowing magazine in April 1979 written by John Coates, the then Secretary of Rowing Australia.
Reinhold Batschi is 37 years of age and was born and educated in Romania. He began rowing at the age of 20, in 1962, while on military service, and during a rowing career which spanned from 1962 to 1970 won 10 Romanian national championships in sweep-oared boats.
He was also good enough, after only two years' rowing, to be selected an emergency for the Romanian team at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and at the Mexico Olympics four years later was a full member. He also rowed in the 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1969 European Championships, finishing fourth in two finals and won a bronze medal in the coxed fours at the 1967 championships in Vichy, France.
On retiring from active rowing Batschi attended a two year course at the Romanian Sports Coaches College in Bucharest, graduating in 1972. For his Sports Coaches Diploma he studied subjects such as anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, sports administration, psychology and training photography. Needless to say his specialty was rowing. From 1970 until 1974 he coached juniors at the Dynamo - Bucharest rowing centre.
In 1974 Reinhold Batschi defected from Romania to accept an appointment as Head National Coach for the City of West Berlin in West Germany, where he was employed by the National Sporting Council of West Germany. There were 45 rowing clubs under his responsibility in West Berlin and at the Rowing Centre he had two assistant coaches working with him.
In 1975 he coached the four with cox and the pair with cox which won the German championships. These two crews both went on to represent West Germany and win bronze medals at the 1975 world championships in Nottingham - with Batschi as their coach. In 1976 thirteen members of Batschi's West Berlin training squad qualified for the West German team which competed in the Montreal Olympics. He himself coached the West German four with cox which took the bronze medal, and the pair with cox which finished second in the petite final. After Montreal there were many retirements from the elite ranks in the Berlin region and Batschi's task since then has been to rebuild through the juniors, with a view to the Moscow Olympics. Members of his West Berlin squad represented West Germany in the 1977 and 1978 world championships.
Reinhold Batschi's employment by the AARC is being financed by the Commonwealth government, through its sports and recreation grants; the Rothmans National Sport Foundation, and TAA. He arrived in Australia on March 30 and will be at West Lakes for the King's Cup and national regattas. Mr Batschi will be actively involved in the selection of Australian teams for the world championships, and Council has determined that he will travel with the team overseas, at least in an advisory capacity.
Reinhold was employed by the AARC in 1979 as Australia's first full time coaching director. He became Australian Head Coach at the same time and has held the position of director of the AIS rowing programme since its inception in 1985.
Reinhold was appointed because our leading rowing administrators, in particular John Coates, knew it was necessary to change the way the sport was managed. The sport had achieved some good individual performances such as the silver medal in the Eight at Mexico in 1968 and success with lightweights in the mid 1970s, however these were as a result of individual work, not of a system. Reinhold was able to provide the ideas which were always worthwhile and therefore almost always implemented. John Coates and John Boultbee were the primary implementers of the change.
Photo courtesy of Hebfotos
The implementation however was far from easy for Batschi, Boultbee & Coates and caused great controversy and criticism. Fortunately the selectors at the time, namely Jim Howden, Bruce Evans and Roger Moore, were great supporters of the changes and became heavily involved in managing the change. Also the then Chairman of the AARC, Robert Aitken, assisted in getting the State Associations to agree to them. John Coates found the ideas transportable to other sports as he moved to the AOC. John Boultbee also found his ideas influential at both the FISA and AIS levels. Reinhold's influence was therefore not limited to rowing, but extended to the AOC, the AIS and FISA.
Photo courtesy of Hebfotos
The appointment of Reinhold was the key to the growth and current success of the sport of rowing in Australia. His influence on Australian rowing has been immense including:
- revolutionising the training and coaching methods during the 1980s incorporating standardisation of styles throughout the country;
- lifting the professionalism of Australian rowing;
- introducing a far more objective and thorough selection process based upon small boat racing and increased domestic competition;
- introducing a coaching accreditation system which is an important part of coaching development, a matter key to Reinhold's ideas; and
- introducing the AIS coaching apprentice scholarship which has been copied by other sports. The apprentice coaches include many of our recent international coaches including Martin Aitken, Paul Thompson (who was recently named 2007 FISA Coach of the Year), Matt Draper, Steven Evans, Ellen Randell, to name just a few. Australia is now an exporter of coaches to the world. His apprentices have become not only influential coaches both here in Australia and overseas but also leading sports administrators both in rowing and in sports institutes.
The net result of his work has been the great international success of Australian rowing, starting in the mid 1980s and continuing to this day.
1962 - Began rowing in Romania
1962-70 - 10 Romanian National Championships
1964 - Olympic Games sweep emergency
1965 - European Championships
1966 - European Championships
1967 - European Championships - Men's Coxed Four - Bronze
1968 - Olympic Games - ROM Men's Coxed Four - Seventh
1969 - European Championships
1972 - Graduated from Romanian Sports Coaches College with a Sports Coaches Diploma
1974 - Head National Coach for the City of West Berlin
1975 - World Championships - FRG Men's Coxed Four coach - Bronze
1975 - World Championships - FRG Men's Coxed Pair coach - Bronze
1976 - Olympic Games - FRG Men's Coxed Four coach - Bronze
1976 - Olympic Games - FRG Men's Coxed Pair coach - Eighth
1979 - Appointed Australia's First Full Time Director of Coaching
1979 - World Championships Head Coach
1980 - Olympic Games Head Coach
1981 - Match des Seniors - Men's Double Scull coach - Gold
1981 - Match des Seniors - Men's Coxed Four coach - Sixth
1981 - Match des Seniors - Men's Coxess Pair coach - Fifth
1982 - Match des Seniors - Men's Single Scull coach - Sixth
1982 - Match des Seniors - Men's Coxless Pair coach - Gold
1982 - Match des Seniors - Men's Coxed Four coach Silver
1983 - World Championships - Men's Eight coach - Bronze
1984 - Olympic Games Head Coach and Men's Eight coach - Bronze
1985 - Appointed inaugural AIS Rowing Head Coach
1985 - Trans Tasman Under 23 Series Australian Men's sweep coach
1985 - Match des Seniors - Men's Eight coach - Silver
1986 - World Championships - Men's Eight coach - Gold
1986 - Commonwealth Games - Men's Eight coach - Gold
1986 - Commonwealth Games - Men's Coxed Four coach - Bronze
1986 - Lucerne Regatta - Men's Eight coach - First
1987 - World Championships - Men's Eight coach - Fourth
1988 - Olympic Games Selector, Head Coach and Men's Eight coach - Fifth
1989 - World Championships - Men's Coxless Four coach - ninth
1990 - Match des Seniors - Men's Pair coach - Fourth
1990 - Match des Seniors - Men's Eight coach - Fifth
1990 - World Championships - Men's Eight coach - Eighth
1991 - World Championships - Men's Eight coach - Tenth
1992 - Olympic Games Head Coach - Two gold medals
1994 - World Championships - Men's Coxed Four coach - Fifth
1994 - Lucerne Regatta - Men's Coxed Four - First
1995-96 - Head Coach of Rowing Australia
1995 - World Championships - Men's Eight coach - Eleventh
1996 - Olympic Games Head Coach - most successful team at that regatta.
1996 - Head coach of the most success rowing nation in the world
1997 - World Championships - Men's Coxless Pair coach - Eighth
1999 - World Junior & Senior Championships & Nations Cup - Touring head coach
2000 - Olympic Games Head Coach
2001 - World Under 23 Regatta - Men's Quad Scull coach - Bronze
2001 - World Championships - Men's Quad Scull coach - Tenth
2002 - Interstate Men's Sculling Championship coach - Third
2002 - World Under 23 Regatta - Men's Single Scull co-coach - Silver
2002 - World Championships - Men's Single Scull coach - Fourteenth
2002 - World Championships - Men's Double Scull coach - Fourth
2003 - Interstate Men's Eight Championship co-coach - Fifth
2003 - World Championships - Men's Quad Scull coach - Fifth
2004 - Interstate Men's Sculling Championship - Third
2004 - Interstate Men's Sculling Championship - Fourth
2004 - Olympic Games - Men's Quad Scull coach - Seventh
2005-07 - Introduction of Breaking the Drought Programme
2007 - Retires as AIS head Coach after 22 years
Andrew Guerin 2007