Scroll To Top
australian rowers profiles and history

A B (Joe) Gould

Police Rowing Club and later Sydney Rowing Club (NSW)

1935 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship seven seat – First

1936 – Olympic Games – Men’s Eight seven seat – eliminated in repechage

1938 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship – Second

1938 – British Empire Games – Men’s Eight seven seat - Silver

1946 – Interstate Men’s Championships sole selector & manager

1947 – Interstate Men’s Championships sole selector

1948 – Interstate Men’s Championships sole selector

1949 – Interstate Men’s Championships sole selector

1950 – British Empire Games – sole selector for the Men’s Eight.

1951 – Interstate Men’s Championships sole selector

1952 – Olympic Games – Sole selector and unofficial coach of the Men’s Eight.

1952 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship selector & manager

1953 – Interstate Men’s Coxed Pair Championship coach – First

1953 – Interstate Men’s Eight Championship coach & sole selector – Second

Joe Gould was a giant of Australian rowing from the mid thirties with great service provided to Rowing NSW. He was a champion rower, excellent coach and highly regarded selector.

Gould as part of the 1938 Empire Games team in 1938 - Gould is the second back row second from the left

The following article on Joe Gould appeared on page sixteen The Australian Amateur October, 1951, and was provided by Bruce Coe.

Rowing Selector was Famous All-Rounder

By Claude Spencer

When the administrators of Australian rowing appointed Joe Gould sole selector of the Australian crew for Helsinki, they acknowledged possibly the greatest all-round amateur sportsman this country has produced and a man who was born to be a leader.

Almost from the kindergarten stage, Joe Gould has been instructing his comrades and his personality is such that grown ups continue to emulate the younger fry.

From 1922 until 1928, Gould was a student at Sydney Grammar School, which ranks among the greatest of Public Schools in the Commonwealth, and, in his first year, he was placed in the 16th division in the school's football team.

In 1926 he was playing first grade and was captain in 1927 and 1928, when he was also captain of the All-schools team.

The 1926 cricket season saw Joe in the second team, after which he moved to the first grade. In the same year he joined the rifle club and was placed in the second grade. Again he earned promotion to the seniors and was vice-captain in the two following years.

Gould made the first athletics team in 1926 and held his place until 1928, when he was again captain. He won the shot putt three years in succession and made a record which stood for 21 years.

 Football, cricket, rifle-shooting and athletics not taking up sufficient of his time, Joe, also in 1926, took up rowing and made the school's first eight of which he was captain in 1927 and 1928, in which year he left school.

His next move was to Moree, 400 miles north-west of Sydney, where he played football and quickly established himself by gaining representation of his district in the Country Week competition in Sydney. At cricket he gained similar representative honours, and, with the rifle, he gained selection in the team to contest the "King's", in Sydney, where he also won the shot putt at the Caledonian sports meeting. 

In Moree, on one occasion, he met the late Jimmy Carlton in a 100 yards footrace. Carlton, who won by the proverbial nose in 9 4/5, considered it was his greatest run ever, taking into account the conditions.

Gould returned to Sydney in 1934 and joined up with the Police Transport Department. It was only a matter of weeks before he joined the Police Rowing Club and, in 1935, he was a member of the crew, which won the King's Cup on the Nepean River, at Penrith (N.S.W.).

After this success he became a member of every crew of importance, including the Australian Eight at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. He was also a member of the winning crews in the Grand Challenge Cups at Melbourne in 1935 and 1937 and was in the winning Four in the Stewards Challenge Cup at Melbourne in 1938. In the latter year, Gould also was a member of the Australian crew at the British Empire Games which were held in N.S.W., but retired from competitive rowing two years later.

During his career, Joe rowed in seven seat, in the eights, and was now due for what he considers his greatest honour.

In 1946, he was appointed sole selector for representative crews for his State and, later, Australia. It was Gould who chose the winning crew at the last Empire Games, which were held in New Zealand., and the crew which won the Championship at the N. Z. Centenary Games this year when victory was won at the expense of the visiting American crew - a world title. His crew also won the New Zealand Championship, at Akaroa, by again defeating the Americans, who had previously been declared unbeatable.

Two months ago Gould was appointed sole selector of the Australian eight for the Helsinki Games next year. 

From the foregoing it will be seen that whatever Gould touches gets a fillip from his remarkable personality plus ability to instill into others what comes naturally to himself.

A natural athlete, Joe Gould has been, for nearly 30 years, a leader in every sport in which he has participated; and very few have been left out.

Andrew Guerin
May 2020 (updates Dec 2022 with The Australian Amateur article)

Website by Hope Stewart—Website Design & Management