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australian rowers profiles and history

Alison Chinn

Canberra Rowing Club (ACT)

The following citation appears on the Rowing ACT website Life Members page and was extracted on 30th December 2022.

Alison Chinn’s contribution to event management and the administration of Rowing ACT spans 35 years.

In 1986 Alison and her partner Mark Kwiatkowski created the ACT Winter Time Trial series, a group of long-distance time trials open to all levels of competitors, who race on handicap. Supported by a small group of club volunteers Alison and Mark coordinated the series for its first decade. Beginning as a monthly one day single scull-only event, its success enabled it to grow to a monthly two day event, with small boats (1x and 2-) racing on Saturdays and big boats on Sundays. However, the event’s growth meant a big lift in workload for Alison and Mark behind the scenes. In the late 1990s they handed the coordination to Rowing ACT, which recognized the value of the series and formally made it a part of its regatta program.

The inclusiveness that Alison and Mark designed into the structure of the Winter Time Trial series has ensured its success. This year’s thirty-fifth running of the series attracted a record 130 single scull competitors alone. There are also several names on the single scull trophies of up-and-coming athletes who later went on to win national championships and represent Australia.

Alison has also made a significant long term contribution to Rowing ACT’s management. From 1988 to 1997 she held the demanding positions of Secretary and then Treasurer, often holding these positions concurrently with Canberra Rowing Club board positions, while also competing at the elite level (as well as working full time!). This included being a member of the Rowing ACT Board that oversaw the ACT’s 1995 transition from being a regional association of Rowing NSW to an independent Territory sporting association recognised by Rowing Australia. Alison’s was an exceptional contribution, especially considering that it was done in a totally voluntary capacity with no support structures such as a paid Executive Officer to assist.

Alison was reappointed to the Rowing ACT Board in 2016 and has continued to the present. To recent Boards she has brought an invaluable corporate knowledge of rowing in the ACT, and its history and traditions. Her auditor’s eye has helped Rowing ACT meet its governance obligations in an increasingly compliance demanding sporting world, and she has been the Regatta Secretary for several years.

Alison has also been a significant contributor to the broader ACT rowing community. She was on the Canberra Rowing Club Board from 1986 to 1991 and then 1999 to 2003. She has also spent many hours coaching successful CRC scullers and crews, particularly at the Masters level.

As an athlete Alison competed in and won innumerable races as an ACT club athlete. This included winning the ACT Women’s Single Scull title a record six times, and the NSW Women’s Lightweight Single Scull title three times. She is also amongst the small number of ACT athletes who represented NSW in the Interstate Regatta before the ACT’s 1995 separation from Rowing NSW – in the 1988 NSW women’s four for the ULVA Trophy.

Rowing ACT Board:

1988/89 – Secretary; 1989/90 – Secretary; 1990/91 – Secretary; 1991/92 – Secretary; 1992/93 – Secretary; 1993/94 – Treasurer; 1994/95 – Treasurer; 1995/96 – Treasurer; 1996/97 – Treasurer; 2016/17 – Member; 2017/18 – Member; 2018/19 – Member; 2019/20 – Member

Extracted by Andrew Guerin
30th December 2022

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